The BJP on Thursday made it clear that it is not in favour of “premature release” of 13 convicts, including five jailed in assassination case of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, as sought by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.”BJP is not in agreement with this,” party President Amit Shah told a press conference in Hyderabad in response to a query on Badal seeking premature release of the 13 life convicts. Five convicts are jailed in the assassination case of Beant Singh while one in the 1993 New Delhi bomb blast case in which nine persons were killed and 25 others, including a Youth Congress leader were injured. Badal recently wrote to his counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat and administrators of Union Territories Delhi and Chandigarh seeking ‘premature release’ of the 13 life convicts who are jailed in these states under TADA Act for past several years.Badal sought their prompt release on “humanitarian grounds”. The leader was in the city to review membership drive of the party in Telangana. Shah, on strings of controversy courted by his party ministers and leaders with their remarks recently, said that leaders should observe restrain in their speeches. “As far as BJP’s image is concerned if any MLA or MP makes such (controversial) comments, it naturally hurts the party image… many new people have been elected. I have said many times that all should observe restraint in speeches,” he said.When asked to comment latest remark of BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj that Hindus should produce four children, he said it is Sakshi’s personal comment and BJP does not subscribe to it. Shah, however, refused to make any comment on MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi’s recent remark that real home- coming (Ghar Vapsi) would be when people convert to Islam. “As far as Owaisi’s comment is concerned, I don’t think I should make any comment on it,” he said. He said that BJP has appealed to all “so-called” secular parties to support them in a bringing stringent anti-conversion law but it is sad that none came forward till now. Media should ask the “so-called secular parties” as to why they are not coming forward to stop forcible conversions, he said. Observing that Jammu and Kashmir threw up a fractured mandate in the recent state assembly polls, Shah said talks are on to form the government. “Talks are on. It’s a strange type of a mandate. So, naturally.. none have a clear mandate,” he said. Replying to a query on Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, he said Article 370 has been part of BJP’s agenda though nothing has been firmed up vis-à-vis government formation in the state.”Article 370 has been part of BJP’s agenda. The question is that we don’t have a clear mandate. We have to form government. We are talking to other parties. It will be discussed and finalised. We cannot hide and we have to put it before the nation.. nothing has been finalised,” he said. He said BJP does not have the majority required for abrogation of Article 370. Asked if BJP has “forgotten” the Ram mandir issue, he appeared to be evasive and said, “We have not forgotten. Even if we have forgotten, you have done right by reminding us.” To a query if BJP would project a Chief Ministerial candidate in the upcoming Assembly elections in Delhi, he said no decision has been taken on it so far.When asked about “senior leaders” in the BJP being ignored with new entrants occupying position in higher rungs in the party, he said new people always come. “..This does not mean that old people will not get importance. It’s a matter of happiness that the party getting bigger.”To a poser on reports that several big names like Chief Minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh N Kiran Kumar Reddy may join BJP, he said there is no joining programme today. The BJP President on the occasion highlighted NDA government’s achievements in last seven months in office on various fronts, including formation of SIT to bring back black money, getting India’s concerns addressed at the WTO with regard to MSP for farmers, fall in food prices as per price index, Jan Dhan Yojana, Adarsh Gram Yojana, development of smart cities, Swachh Bharat Campaign among others.

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BJP disagrees on release of convicts in Beant Singh’s assassination