Patna: Janata Dal (United), heading the NDA government in Bihar, said that West Bengal, under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership, is fast turning into a “mini Pakistan” from where Biharis are being driven out by “Rohingyas”.
The scathing criticism of the West Bengal government by JD(U) followed close on the heels of Banerjee lauding her Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar for deciding to contest assembly polls in four states separately.
“What is happening in West Bengal is a matter of grave concern. I have been saying this for long. I do not understand why she has thanked and commended our chief minister. Maybe she is happy that the JD(U) is contesting elections in four states on its own, not as a part of the NDA,” JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok told a news channel in Patna, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
“But this gesture does not absolve her of her mistakes. She must act to prevent her state from degenerating into a mini-Pakistan,” said the JD(U) spokesperson.
“Her thanksgiving cannot make us forget that Biharis are being assaulted in West Bengal and forced to leave the state,” he added.
The Janata Dal (United), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as its national president, resolved on Sunday to contest the assembly polls in Delhi, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Haryana as part of its efforts to gain the status of a national party.
Banerjee, who is bitterly opposed to the BJP, which has made deep inroads in West Bengal, was later quoted by the media as having said, “I have come across a statement from Nitishji that he will not form alliance with the NDA outside Bihar. I would like to congratulate him. Thank you to him”.
“Mamata didi should remember that Biharis are being driven out of her state under her watch. And the ones forcing our people to flee her state are not Bengalis. They are Rohingyas,” Ajay Alok said without elaborating.
According to news agency PTI, a group of BJP supporters in West Bengal were recently rebuked publicly by Mamata Banerjee when they chanted “Jai Shri Ram” as her cavalcade drove past them. Media reports said Banerjee had accused them of being “outsiders”.
A couple of days ago, people travelling from Kolkata to Patna by a bus were allegedly beaten up by the owner and other staffers of a road-side hotel in Burdwan district. The incidents drew sharp criticism from Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader.
Sushil Modi accused the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal of orchestrating attacks on Hindi speaking people in general and Biharis in particular.
The JD(U) leader’s comment drew sharp reaction from the Bihar’s opposition RJD, headed Lalu Prasad Yadav. The RJD, currently being run by Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi, has been sympathetic towards Mamata Banerjee.
“It is obscene. We have been saying for the past couple of years that the ruling dispensation at the Centre is desperately creating a pre-partition situation in Bengal,” said RJD’s Rajya Sabha member and national spokesperson Manoj Jha.
“The baseless and denigrating statement from the JD(U) leader (Ajay Alok) simply blurs the distinction between reality and prejudice,” he added.
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.