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.
Pramod Sawant sworn in as 11th Goa CM
Mumbai : Vijai Sardesai from the Goa Forward Party and Sudin Dhavalikar from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, both alliance partners, have been inducted as Deputy Chief Ministers, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik told reporters on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhavan here.
Sawant, 45, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Mridula Sinha at a formal ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan in the early hours of Tuesday.
Apart from Sawant and the two deputy Chief Ministers, nine other MLAs, all of them who were part of the previous BJP-led coalition cabinet headed by Parrikar, were also administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor and inducted as ministers in the state cabinet.
The Chief Minister said portfolios would be allotted to his ministers within eight days.
Sawant succeeds former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday due to complications arising from advanced pancreatic cancer.
The new Chief Minister heads a coalition government which has the support of 12 MLAs from the BJP, three each from the Goa Forward and MGP, and two independent MLAs, taking the tally of the treasury benches to 20 in the 36-member state legislative assembly.
“Parrikar is not among us now and this responsibility has been given collectively to me by my party, alliance partners and independent MLAs. This is a big responsibility,” Sawant told reporters soon after he was sworn in.
“I am committed to the development of Goa and to take forward the teachings of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar with a positive outlook,” Sawant also said, adding that he would focus on completing all infrastructure related projects started by his predecessor.
He was sworn in after a marathon session of hectic negotiations anchored by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP national president Amit Shah, who over a series of meetings, spanning more than 24 hours, with legislators from regional parties and independent MLAs forged a coalition together.
2008 Mumbai attacks one of the ‘most notorious’ terrorist attacks: China
Mumbai/Beijing: In a rare acknowledgment, China described the 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by Pakistan-based LeT terror outfit as one of “the most notorious terrorist attacks”.
In a white paper on its massive crackdown against terrorists in the restive Xianjiang province, China said the global spread of terrorism and extremism over the years had inflicted agony on humanity.
The paper described the Mumbai terror attacks as one of “the most notorious terrorist attacks”, adding that the “global spread of terrorism and extremism over the years has inflicted agony on humanity”.
The release of the paper, “The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang”, interestingly coincided with Pakistan foreign minister’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s visit to China.
Throughout the world, terrorism and extremism gravely threaten peace and development, and endanger the life and property of individuals, said the white paper released by China’s State Council Information Office.
The paper came days after China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to designate Pakistan-based chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” by putting a technical hold on the proposal, a move India termed as disappointing.
The JeM has claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead and escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.
“Striking aggressively at terrorism and furthering the de-radicalisation effort is the common responsibility of the international community and essential to the protection of human rights,” it said.
China opposes all forms of terrorism and extremism, and opposes double standards on fighting terrorism, said the white paper, adding that Beijing opposes linking terrorism and extremism with specific countries, ethnic groups or religions.
China advocates comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and the root causes, with the dual purposes of striking at terrorist activities and eliminating poverty, so that there will be no room for terrorism to breed, it said.
Pak did not do a favour by returning Abhinandan, says Sitharaman
Mumbai: Pakistan has shown the statements of such people and opposition leaders on their television channels, increasing TRP, the minister said.
“It is these people who did not want (the country) to buy Rafale, because arrival of these will give strength to our forces,” she said, addressing a gathering in Kolkata on ‘Ensuring India’s National Security’ organised by the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.
India has given a message to the world after the Balakot air strike by not bowing to Pakistan’s nuclear blackmail, the minister said.
On February 26, the IAF conduct air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot targeting Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps. The strikes came after a suicide bomber from the terror group on February 14 rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus, killing 40 personnel, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Modi did what former prime minister Manmohan Singh did not do after the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, possibly because of Pakistan’s continued propaganda that “it is a nuclear power like India, and we should not forget that before doing anything against them”, she said.
“‘Chowkidar’ gave Pakistan the right answer,” she said.
The defence minister said though there is no direct war being waged between India and Pakistan, there were ceasefire violations by the neighbouring country, and non-state actors with the support of Pakistan, indulge in attacks like that in Pulwama.
Many were given training for suicide attacks at Balakot. There was intelligence on this development and that there will be many more Pulwama-like attacks in the coming days, she said.
“So, not to wage war but to neutralise the terrorists at their training camps. They were eliminated (at Balakot),” she said, adding, India did what Pakistan ought to have done.
Sitharaman said Pakistan claims it is a victim of terrorism, but itself trains and sends them to India.
“Why Pakistan does not take action against terrors groups and terrorists being nurtured and trained on its soil if it is a victim?” she asked.
The minister said that after the Pulwama attack, evidence was given to Pakistan, but it did not act.
Noting that the Jaish-e-Mohammed itself claimed responsibility for the strike, she said, “What more proof does it (Pakistan) want?”