Mumbai: Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for raking up the Emergency, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said “contribution” of former premier Indira Gandhi for the country cannot be ignored just because of her 1975 decision. He also said that Gandhi was “pro-democracy” as she called for elections in 1977 after lifting Emergency which she lost.
In his weekly column in party mouthpiece “Saamana”, Raut said it would be “treason” to reject the contribution of national leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, B R Ambedkar, Netaji Bose and Veer Savarkar.
“Nobody else performed so greatly in this country like (late) Indira Gandhi did. Her one decision of Emergency cannot wash away her contribution. It is a treason to reject the contribution of Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Dr Ambedkar, Netaji Bose and Veer Savarkar. Every government has to take some practical decision as per the situation. Who will decide what is wrong and right? Emergency ought to be forgotten,” Raut said.
He said, “If the day when the Emergency was proclaimed by (then PM) India Gandhi is to be called ‘Black Day’, then there were many such ‘black days’ under the Central government. The day demonetisation was announced should also be called ‘Black Day’, as it created the economic anarchy”.
Raut said many poor people lost their jobs for some days due to the note ban under which bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations were banned from circulation in November 2016. “Small traders incurred heavy losses. The cash with rich people turned ‘white’. Prime Minister had claimed that the note ban will bring out the black money, however, instead of black money coming out many people died while standing in queues,” he said.
Raut said the BJP government’s promise that violence in Jammu and Kashmir would end has turned out to be hollow. “It was also said that violence in Kashmir will be ended. But, on the other hand, the violence in Kashmir has gone up. A bank, where BJP national president Amit Shah is one of the directors, received old notes of Rs 575 crore within five days from the announcement of the scrapping of the high value notes,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
He said the economy has not yet been recovered fully from the demonetisation impact. “The freedom of press was suppressed during the Emergency. Whatever is happening now a days is not different from the four-decade-old emergency.
“During the Emergency, BJP leader L K Advani was put behind the bars. Today, (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee is bed-ridden and Advani could not say anything. There are others who have now become mute. Have they become so on their own?” Raut asked.
In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sena leader said, “Only those who suffered like George Fernades during the Emergency have the right to speak against the measure. Fernandes not only went to jail but he was trying to attempt a revolutionary plan to topple the authoritarian regime of Indira Gandhi”.
The Shiv Sena leader also taunted Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had given a critical speech on June 26 on the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency in Mumbai, ahead of the PM. “Those who were not even born or were not even toddlers are today talking against Emergency and late Indira Gandhi. I am not a supporter or opponent of emergency. Even late Balasaheb Thackeray had supported the Emergency saying ‘if is makes the country more disciplined, then emergency is needed’. Despite that the printing press run by Thackeray was sealed during the emergency. It is a kind of sacrifice but Thackeray never sought credit for it or demanded pension,” Raut said.
Raut said that in the earlier days of Emergency, all types of mafias, local goons and extortionists had been arrested which was appreciated by people.
“During the Emergency period, civil servants started attending office on time. There was over activity in implementing mass sterilisation. Compulsory family planning of Muslims has been the agenda of Sangh Pariwar,” he said.
He said underworld dons like Haji Mastan, Kareem lala, Yusuf Patel and Varada Rajan were sent to jail during the Emergency. “In contrast today, people like Nirav Modi and (Mehul) Choksi, both accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, and Vijay Mallya have fled the country after looting it,” Raut said.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.