New Delhi: As China again blocked a UN resolution to designate JeM chief a global terrorist, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday hit out at Prime Minster Narendra Modi, saying he was weak and scared of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Congress chief attacked the prime minister and said he had not spoken on China blocking the resolution in the UN Security Council. The party accused the BJP of letting Masood off the hook again and also questioned Modi what was the use of “swinging” with Xi. “Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India. NoMo’s China diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat. 2. Hug Xi in Delhi. 3. Bow to Xi in China,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
India’s bid to designate the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief as a global terrorist suffered a setback with Chinaputting a technical hold on a proposal to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the JeM killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.
“With China having blocked our bid to designate Masood Azhar a global terrorist, the question on every Indian’s mind is, what was the use of all the swinging with Modi and President Xi,” the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.
“A terrorist responsible for such bloody murders is let off the hook again by the BJP,” it claimed. Congress’ chief spokeserson Randeep Surjewala said it was a sad day in the global fight against terrorism.
“China blocking Masood Azhar’s designation as global terrorist reaffirms Chinese position of being an inseparable ally of terrorism’s breeding ground-Pakistan,” he tweeted Wednesday.
“Sadly, Modiji’s foreign policy has been a series of diplomatic disasters,” the party spokesperson said. The Congress has also been attacking the BJP over Azhar’s release in the Kandahar hijacking case. Gandhi has asked Modi to tell the nation that it was a BJP-led government which released Azhar from an Indian jail in 1999.
Gandhi has also alleged that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, a top intelligence official back then, had “escorted” Azhar to Kandahar where he was handed over to terrorists. Azhar and two other terrorists, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, were released from Indian prison in 1999 by the then BJP-led government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in exchange for the passengers held hostage on board IC-814 flight hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
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.
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