Mumbai: The Shiv Sena said on Wednesday that the BJP has no moral right to criticise student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been charged with sedition, after teaming up with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Sena also asked the ruling BJP to refrain from taking political mileage from the sedition case against Kanhaiya Kumar, a former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students” Union.
The BJP committed a “sin” by aligning with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, it said, claiming that she considered Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as a martyr.
The BJP was part of the PDP-led government in Jammu and Kashmir but pulled out of the coalition last year.
The Delhi Police had on Monday filed a chargesheet in a court against Kanhaiya Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus in February 2016.
“The BJP committed the biggest sin of aligning with Mehbooba Mufti, who considers Afzal Guru a freedom fighter and a martyr. Now the BJP, for its own benefit, should not try and take political mileage out of the sedition case filed against Kanhaiya,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ”Saamana”.
A terrorist like Ajmal Kasab, convicted in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case, was given a chance by court to defend himself, it said, and expressed hope that Kanhaiya Kumar would also be given a chance to present his case.
If the allegations against him are not true, they will not stand in court, said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
“Kanhaiya Kumar speaks well. Since he represents the harried and unemployed youth, he cannot give slogans hailing Afzal Guru or independence for Kashmir. Anyway, what moral right does the BJP have to condemn Kanhaiya Kumar?” it asked.
The Sena wondered if the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, was unable to win elections in JNU as voting there was not held through the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
“Maharashtra BJP minister Girish Mahajan recently claimed he will show his ”magic” wherever he is sent and make sure his party wins polls. We request the BJP to send him to JNU to defeat the anti-nationals there. But tell him that elections in JNU are not held through EVMs,” Shiv Sena said in a sarcastic remark.
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.