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Rajiv Gandhi had dubbed opposition scorpion in 1984: Javadekar

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Raipur: Union minister Prakash Javadekar said Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shiv Linga reflected the party’s mentality which had become evident when former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed the opposition a “scorpion” in 1984 polls.

He also accused the Congress of “indirectly supporting” Maoists and said the BJP governments at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh, where elections would be held next month, were determined to finish the Naxal menace in the coming years. No Congress leader was available for comments.

“When Chhattisgarh was formed and the Congress was in power in the state, Naxalism was at its peak. Now it has come down to one third of the total area which was in control of Naxalites earlier,” the human resource development minister said in a press conference here.

 

Javadekar criticised Tharoor for his reported remark on Saturday in which he claimed that an unnamed RSS source had told a journalist that “Prime Minister Modi was like a scorpion sitting on a Shiv Linga who cannot be removed by hand or hit with a chappal (slipper)”.

When asked about the remark, Javadekar said, “The Congress is wondering on how to take on Modi at the political level and therefore it has resorted to abusing. Rahul baba keeps on abusing daily. People will do only those things which they know. Shashi Tharoor is a bit sophisticated but he has also come down to the ‘bichhu’ remark.”
“This was the Congress’ advertisement in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi had brought this advertisement of calling the opposition a scorpion in the 1984 elections. It reflects the mentality of Congress,” the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader claimed.

On Naxalism, he said 350 ultras were gunned down in the last five years in Chhattisgarh. “Not only that, around 5,000 misguided tribals have surrendered while thousands of Naxals have been arrested,” he said.

Hitting back at Congress leader Abhishek Manu Sanghvi who Sunday accused the Chhattisgarh government of being weak in tackling Naxalism, Javadekar said on the contrary the menace was at its peak during the Congress’ rule in Chhattisgarh between 2000 and 2003.

“The Congress gave birth to Naxalism and it is the party which has encouraged it. The senior Congress leader indirectly supports Maoists. The party had appointed overground supporters of Maoist to the planning commission. It is the record of the Congress,” he alleged.

Accusing the Congress of adopting “double standards”, Javadekar alleged the party had backed overground supporters of Maoists. “Their sympathy towards Maoist is not hidden. No decisive action was taken by the previous UPA government against Naxals. However, the action has been taken against Maoists since the last four years under Modi government and very soon the menace will be neutralised,” he claimed.

“Chhattisgarh will be free from Maoist activities in the next three years. We are determined to finish the Maoist challenge in the next couple of years which is totally violent and undemocratic. Our policy is clear,” the minister said.

Slamming Tharoor, Javadekar said the Congress leader had recently said Ram Mandir should not be built in Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya because a mosque existed at that place. “Tharoor has forgotten that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya and his temple existed at the spot. A mosque was built after demolishing the temple.

“A public protest for Ram temple has been on from last 500 years. No BJP or Congress were there in the movement. It was a public protest. Now, the Supreme Court has fixed the dates of hearing (the Ayodhya title suit). We are hopeful that soon justice will be done and Ram Mandir will be built in Ramjanmabhoomi,” he said.

When asked if Ram Mandir will be the BJP’s agenda for Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Javdekar said, “Ram Mandir had never been an agenda of our politics or election but the temple should be built in Ramjanmabhoomi because people of the country want it. This is a national demand and sentiments of people are attached with it. This is a matter of faith of people and we never do politics over it.”

Responding to a query on a row over a Supreme Court judgment allowing women of all age to visit Sabarimala shrine in Kerala, Javadekar said people reacted because orders were passed against public sentiments.

“Despite peaceful opposition by the devotees, the brutal treatment meted against them by the incumbent Communist government is severely criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party,” he added.


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‘Voter ID more powerful than IED’, says Modi after casting vote

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Mumbai: Voters in India are wise and their ID is more powerful than the IEDs of terrorists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after voting in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.

The Prime Minister arrived to vote in an open jeep as he walked down the streets with the BJP’s candidate in Ahmedabad East, Hasmukhbhai Somabhai Patel, and addressed the media after voting inside the polling booth in Nishan Higher Secondary School in Ranip area of Ahmedabad.

“Today, the third phase of polling is underway. I am fortunate that I got the opportunity to fulfil my duty in my home state of Gujarat. Like one feels pure after a holy dip during the Kumbh, I feel pure after casting vote in this festival of democracy,” the Prime Minister said while speaking to reporters.

 

“The weapon of terrorism is IED, the strength of democracy is voter’s ID. I can say with surety that the voter’s ID is much much more powerful than an IED, so we should understand the strength of our voter IDs,” Modi said.

Amid chants of “Modi, Modi”, the Prime Minister came out after casting his ballot, showed his inked finger and acknowledged the people gathered outside the booth. He also walked a little distance as people continued to chant his name.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s president Amit Shah, who is up against the Congress’ three-term legislator CJ Chavda in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, accompanied the Prime Minister.

Earlier, Modi met his mother at her house in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar. Photographs tweeted by news agency ANI showed the Prime Minister touching nearly 99-year-old Heeraben Patel’s feet as she blesses him. Modi also met people outside his mother’s house before getting in.

All the 26 parliamentary constituencies in Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat is polling in the third phase of ongoing general elections and the contest is primarily between the ruling BJP and Congress. The BJP won all 26 seats in 2014.

The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections will see as many as 117 seats across 15 states and two Union territories going to vote on April 23. Among the seats will be a solitary seat from Tripura, Tripura East, where elections were delayed by one phase due to security reasons.

Chants of “Modi, Modi” were heard as he came out after casting his ballot and acknowledged the people gathered outside the booth. He also walked a little distance as people continued to chant his name.

Earlier, Modi met his mother at her house in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar. Photographs tweeted by news agency ANI showed the Prime Minister touching nearly 99-year-old Heeraben Patel’s feet as she blesses him. Modi also met people outside his mother’s house in Gandhinagar before getting in the house.

All the 26 parliamentary constituencies in Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat is polling in the third phase of ongoing general elections and the contest is primarily between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. The BJP won all 26 seats in 2014.

The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections will see as many as 117 seats across 15 states and two Union territories going to vote on April 23. Among the seats will be a solitary seat from Tripura, Tripura East, where elections were delayed by one phase due to security reasons.

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SC notice to lawyer who was ‘offerred money to frame CJI for harassment’

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from a lawyer, who had made a sensational claim that there was a conspiracy to make CJI Ranjan Gogoi resign by “framing him” in a false case of sexual harassment.

A three-judge special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra issued notice to lawyer Utsav Singh Bains and sought his response with regard to his claim that he was also offered Rs 1.5 crore to represent a former apex court woman employee and arrange a presser against the CJI at the Press Club of India here. The bench, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta, has now fixed the case titled as a matter of “great public importance touching upon the independence of judiciary”, for hearing on Wednesday at 10:30 am.

The lawyer had filed an affidavit on Monday following the unprecedented hearing on Saturday during which the CJI had said a larger conspiracy was behind it and that he would not stoop too low even to deny these allegations.

 
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National

Rahul ‘regrets’ using SC reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark over Rafale deal

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his response to a contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi over his remark on the Rafale deal. Rahul said that he ‘regrets’ using Supreme Court’s reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark and it was ‘made in the heat of the political campaign.’

SC had last week issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi in connection to the contempt petition and sought an explanation from him.

In his response, the Congress president said that the statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” but alleged that it has been “used and misused by political opponents.”

 

“I will not attribute any views, observations or findings to the court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court,” Rahul Gandhi said.

“It is also clear that no court would ever do that (say Chowkidar Chor hai) and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of the political campaigning,” he added.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter .

After the apex court had dismissed preliminary objection raised by the Centre seeking review of the earlier judgment in the Rafale case, the Congress president remarked: “Supreme Court has said chowkidar chor hai in the verdict.”

While making the observations last week, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general.”

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