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If all goes well, PM will go to SAARC summit next year: BJP

It was at a lunch hosted by a union minister on a sunny Christmas Day that BJP spokespersons got messages at 1.39 pm that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was going to meet his Pakistani Counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his way from Kabul to Delhi.”This came as a pleasant surprise. We felt the Prime Minister had shown that he could take such out of the box decisions,” said a party leader. The conversation, which had till then revolved around former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee whose place the BJP leaders had visited earlier in the day on his birthday, turned to Modi.”Looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi,” the message conveyed to the party spokespersons from Modi said.Just minutes before that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj got a call from Modi to tell her that during their telephone conversation, Sharif suggested that he drop in for tea and he had agreed. This was conveyed to BJP spokespersons when Swaraj called them to the ministry at 4 pm. She told spokespersons about the development and said that it was a welcome surprise for all. Swaraj said it was a spontaneous reaction and appreciated it saying there was no need for formality in relations with neighbours, spokespersons said.The Prime Minister’s Lahore visit not only created a sense of euphoria in the party but changed the mood as he stole the headlines, pushing BJP MP Kirti Azad’s suspension over the DDCA row to the backdrop.Party veteran LK Advani, who along with three other senior leaders had met a day after Azad’s suspension, and was critical of the leadership after the Bihar debacle, came out in support of Modi’s initiative. “The efforts initiated by Vajpayee ji, should be taken forward by present leaders like Modi ji and others, regarding the relationship of India and Pakistan…. The friendship between both the nations must get stronger so that both can get rid of the terror outfits which have been created in last few days,” Advani said.The BJP, which has taken a tough ideological position vis–a-vis Pakistan, has been unflinching in its support for Modi’s surprise gesture. A party leader said the Prime Minister was convinced that India cannot be a world power unless it showed flexibility in its approach towards neighbours. SAARC was the “larger circle” through which he could resolve bilateral ties, the leader said.Speaking of the ideological position of the BJP, the leader said even the RSS, the party’s ideological mentor, has accepted the alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.On Saturday, BJP fielded party spokesperson MJ Akbar to brief the media on Modi’s Lahore stopover. “This gives us all hopes that there will be one happy consequence. And, if all goes well, the Prime Minister will undertake the visit to SAARC Summit next year,” said Akbar.Describing as extraordinary the way the peace process has been revived, he said it gave “another opportunity to write a new chapter in a difficult history. But it cannot be written by one. It requires two authors reading from the same page.”Akbar said the PM had created a “transformative moment in the subcontinent” with
his “courage, vision, skill and imagination” and that the pursuit of peace in the complex region with its history of fraught ties between the two countries required such courage.Dismissing the Congress criticism as “childish”, he said the move was “symptomatic” of the diplomatic thaw in the sub-continent”.However, in an interview released on Saturday, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav reiterated the RSS stand about “akhand Bharat”. The party was evasive on it, with one leader saying there was democracy.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

CPI(M) to hold plenum in Bengal from Sunday after 37 years

The plenum is being held at a time when Marxists, who had lost power in the state after 34 years, are trying to revitalise the party organisation in the state. The CPI(M) plenum was last held in West Bengal in 1978 at Salkia in Howrah district.

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DDCA scam: RSS unhappy with way BJP dealt with Kirti Azad vs Arun Jaitley row

The RSS is not happy with the way the BJP government handled the DDCA row where Kirti Azad targeted Arun Jaitley, says an India Today report. Citing sources, the report says that RSS is unhappy with Azad’s suspension over the matter and believes the government should not have dealt with the issue in such a haste.According to the source, RSS has said that the move to suspend Kirti Azad was a big political mistake on the part of BJP as the issue will give impetus to the Aam Aadmi Party which is gunning against the Centre and Jaitley over the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kirti Azad who was supposed to meet BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha will not meet them but instead will write to BJP President Amit Shah about the issue

Kirti Azad suspended: What happened to ‘Na khaoonga na khaney doonga’? Rahul Gandhi asks PM Modi

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Congress wondered whether suspending a party member who “exposed” corruption is the new meaning of promised “achche din”, a reference to PM’s poll slogan .

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday led Congress’ all out attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over BJP MP Kirti Azad’s suspension as it questioned the PM’s “silence” on alleged corruption in DDCA and accused him of “shielding” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The opposition party also hailed Azad as “whistleblower” ruing that instead of taking purposive action in the matter, the BJP leadership thought it fit to “shoot down the messenger”. It wondered whether suspending a party member who “exposed” corruption is the new meaning of promised “achche din”, a reference to PM’s poll slogan .<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pillorying the Prime Minister over his “na khaoonga na khaney doonga” election slogan, Gandhi said, “During election campaign, Modi spoke about scams and said he would not allow corruption. But now scams are taking place and the latest is the cricket scam, and the MP who raised it has been suspended (from the BJP).” “Modi used to say ‘na khaoonga, na khaney doonga’ (will not engage in corruption myself, nor will allow others). But today he is silent. People have started losing faith,” he said while returnig from his two-day visit to Amethi. At the AICC briefing in Delhi, former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar questioned the NDA government over its “benchmark on corruption” reminding the BJP that it used to make an issue of such incidents during the UPA regime.”Amidst expectations of a fair and credible probe into the DDCA scam and demands that the Prime Minister sack his Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to ensure probity in public life, Modi has done the opposite. The Congress party is forced to ask as to why are the Prime Minister and BJP shielding, supporting and protecting perpetrators of corruption,” Kumar told reporters. Rahul said Modi should take action and conduct inquiry into affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association(DDCA)of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013. His remarks came a day after BJP cracked the whip and suspended cricketer-turned-MP Azad, charging him with indulging in anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it to “disrepute”. Under relentless attack from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP leaders on alleged corruption in Delhi cricket body DDCA, Jaitley today accused him and AAP leaders of lowering the level of public discourse saying vulgarity is not a right available to people in positions.In a sharp retort, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that while AAP has “lowered the dignity” in speech, the BJP has “lowered the dignity in action”. “Having cited the example of L K Advani, who had resigned from the Cabinet pending the High Court decision in the Hawala case, why is the Prime Minister not asking his Finance Minister to emulate the example of Advani. “Considering the benchmark established by the BJP during the UPA government for seeking the resignation of UPA Minister, why the double standards now,” Kumar said.

DDCA scam: BJP senior leaders to meet Kirti Azad, raise issue at party forum

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BJP veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha, who had virtually revolted after Bihar poll debacle, today met here to discuss the suspension of MP Kirti Azad and issues related to party leadership.

Senior leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha who are a part of BJP’s margdarshak mandal will meet Kirti Azad after the lawmaker was suspended for targeting Arun Jaitley over the DDCA scam.BJP veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha, who had virtually revolted after Bihar poll debacle, today met here to discuss the suspension of MP Kirti Azad and issues related to party leadership. Unlike their last meeting on November 10 when they had issued a scathing statement against the party leadership, there was no immediate public comment this time round with sources close to them saying that they will raise their issues at an “opportune” time and forum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked if the issue of suspension of Azad from BJP after he attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption in Delhi cricket body came up for discussion, a veteran said, “It should be obvious, considering the background of the meeting.” He, however, declined to divulge any details. Advani, Kumar and Sinha drove down to Joshi’s residence at around noon and were in a huddle for close to an hour. “We met. We had tea,” Kumar said as he left after the meeting, declining to elaborate.Azad had sought intervention of the ‘margdarshak mandal’, comprising Advani, Joshi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which was formed by BJP president Amit Shah after he took over the party reins. It has never met since its formation and was criticised as a move to sideline Advani and Joshi.Sources close to the veterans said they were also not happy with the party’s response to their concerns. An impression was given by the leadership that they were reaching out to them but in reality nothing concrete has happened, they said. The four leaders had launched a sharp attack on the leadership on Diwali eve, saying BJP had been “emasculated” in one year and demanded accountability for its massive loss in the Bihar elections.Senior party leaders, including Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had met Advani later. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav had subsequently said the matter was a “closed chapter”, suggesting that the party had reached out to them to address their issues.Cracking the whip yesterday, BJP suspended Azad, who has been leading a campaign against Jaitley on alleged corruption in DDCA, charging him with anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it into “disrepute”. The action of the BJP Parliamentary Board to suspend him from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect came three days after his press conference attacking Jaitley and subsequent acts of defiance both inside and outside Parliament. With agency inputs

DDCA row: Kirti Azad threatens ‘more revelations’, Congress says his ouster shows BJP’s style

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DDCA row: Kirti Azad threatens to make ‘more revelations’, push party veterans to weigh in on Jaitley

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Narendra Modi, BJP back Arun Jaitley, but silent on Kirti Azad

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the DDCA row, describing finance minister Arun Jaitley to be as untainted as party veteran LK Advani was in the Hawala case.At the weekly BJP parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday morning, Modi backed Jaitley, who faces DDCA corruption charges levelled by party MP Kirti Azad. “Congress has made two mistakes. When it levelled allegations against Advaniji in the Hawala case, the whole nation stood by Advaniji against the Congress. Advaniji jitne pavitra hain, Jaitleyji bhi utne hi pavitra hain,” Modi said, according to sources.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister said Jaitley will come out with “flying colours” the way Advani did in the Hawala case. He took on Congress saying its strategy was aimed at targeting capable ministers, and referred to its attack on external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “Once we understand this strategy, we have to be ready for a big fight,” he said. This would be done through connecting with people and holding press conferences in each constituency of the 280 party MPs plus one non-BJP constituency each. The MPs have been asked to stay overnight in their constituencies.While he stood by Jaitley, Modi was silent on Azad, who was not present in the meeting. However, later Azad said he had not boycotted the meeting but was away because of a prior engagement.Party president Amit Shah too had come out in support of Jaitley on Monday evening, but not said a word on Azad. Shah’s statement came on Monday evening after Azad had held a press conference on Sunday and a day later spoken against Jaitley in Lok Sabha and then tweeted. The party leadership’s silence had started raising eyebrows.However, the leadership has refrained from reprimanding or sending a show cause notice to Azad, who appeared to be testing the party’s patience.Sources reflect a dilemma in the party on the issue. The BJP had taken a similar approach towards its two other Bihar Mps — Shatrughan Sinha and RK Singh — who have taken on the party leadership. The question is whether the party will take action against Azad, who has left the BJP red faced in waging a battle against one of the most high profile ministers in the Modi cabinet.On Monday, Azad had tweeted challenging Jaitley to sue him too along with other AAP leaders.The row has given ammunition to the Congress which asked Jaitely to follow Advani, who had set the tradition bowing out of public life, till he came out clean. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Modi’s drawing comparison between Advani being absolved in the Jain Hawala case with allegations against Jaitley is significant. “He (Jaitley) should learn lessons from his leader Advani, who abdicated office and didn’t even contest election till he came out clean,” he said. The Congress was also demanding Jaitley to listen to his leader and conscience by quiting office, till investigations are over, he said.The finance minister has in the past been a crusader for accountability and has repeatedly invoked the dictum that Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”.

Kejriwal vs Jaitley: After Narendra Modi’s comment, Jethmalani claims LK Advani won because of him

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“Mr L K Advani had Ram Jethamalani (as his lawyer). Now Arun Jaitley is to be prosecuted by me. You take it,” he said.

File Photo

Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Monday said L K Advani won in the Hawala case because he had appeared for him but he will be prosecuting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the defamation case filed against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “Mr L K Advani had Ram Jethamalani (as his lawyer). Now Arun Jaitley is to be prosecuted by me. You take it,” he said.He was replying to a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi comparing the charges of corruption against Jaitley with the Hawala case faced by Advani in the nineties, in which he had come clear at the end.”All people commit mistakes,” Jethmalani said when told that Jaitley, being a lawyer himself, has offered to be cross examined.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I don’t make secret of the fact that I don’t like Arun Jaitley. Asked whether he has got calls from BJP asking to keep away from the case, Jethmalani shot back, “what the hell do I care for BJP because at the instance of Arun Jaitley and his coterie I was expelled from the party. In spite of that, I helped Modi come to power.”To a query whether the Delhi government has powers to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of Delhi’s cricket body, DDCA, the noted lawyer said “I believe that sports and operations of the cricket body are completely within the jurisdiction of Delhi government,” he said.

DDCA row: PM has signalled Arun Jaitley to resign, claims Yechury

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Noting that Advani had resigned after the Hawala scam, he said that Jaitley should understand that the Prime Minister has suddenly remembered the veteran leader when the Finance Minister was facing a problem.

Arun Jaitley

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signalled to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to resign in the wake of DDCA row by citing the example of L K Advani in the Hawala case.”By drawing a parallel with Advani, the Prime Minister is giving a hint to Arun Jaitley that he should resign, get himself cleared and come back. I read it as a signal to Jaitley that you also do the same thing”, he told reporters.Noting that Advani had resigned after the Hawala scam, he said that Jaitley should understand that the Prime Minister has suddenly remembered the veteran leader when the Finance Minister was facing a problem.He was asked for his reaction to the Prime Minister’s comments that Jaitley will come out “with flying colours” against charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in the same way L K Advani did in the Hawala case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about reports that bricks and pillars were being brought to Ayodhya for temple construction, he said that there has been consensus that there should be no further activity there and the BJP is also part of that consensus. “If they want to violate it, law should take its course”. On the Juvenile bill, he said that his party wanted the bill to be sent to select committee for threadbare discussion. Instead of the criterion of age, what is important is the type of crime. This was necessary in view of reports that the new recruits to ISIS are between 14 to 15 year old, he said.

DDCA row: PM Modi backs FM Arun Jaitley, says he will pass ‘with flying colours’

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“Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as L K Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

Reacting to the District Cricket Administration (DDCA) controversy for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told BJP lawmakers that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would “come through with flying colours,” from the controversy. “Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as LK Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.The Prime Minister also said that the Congress is raking up manufactured allegations to defame the government, said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, quoting Modi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to CM Arvind Kejriwal and five AAP leaders on a defamation suit filed by Jaitley against them. The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Escalating the issue, BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been indirectly cornering Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, late on Monday night called Jaitley a ‘napunsak’ in a tweet. However, later he claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.Meanwhile, undeterred by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s decision to slap civil defamation cases against Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP colleagues for allegedly defaming him in connection with the DDCA controversy, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said it is neither ‘scared’ nor ‘threatened’.

Parliament panel dissatisfied at CSR fund spending

A parliamentary panel led by senior BJP MP Shanta Kumar, which expressed dissatisfaction at the current attitude of companies towards spending their mandatory 2% corporate social responsibility (CSR), believes that if all the 21,429 profit-making private companies in the country diligently contribute, the CSR kitty will add up to a whooping Rs 7-8 lakh crore annually.The 131 profit making public sector units (PSUs) alone last year have contributed Rs 3,683.73 crore.The panel, which also includes another senior BJP MP L K Advani, said in absence of an oversight and also lack of clarity within the Companies Act, the enterprises were frittering and at times, using this fund for marathons, sports activities and other publicity related gimmicks, rather in social programmes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the government’s annual Plan spending is budgeted at Rs 4,65,277 crore, the addition of such large CSR amount will reduce poverty and raise lifestyles in geometric proportions, without even burdening the exchequer.“While many initiatives have been taken, the pattern of expenditure so far shows that it is not always targeted to the poorest or backward areas. We have, therefore, recommended that CSR should be clearly defined in the Act itself, to ensure allocations are spent for the specified activities,” said Shanta Kumar.The Companies Act of 2013 has made the CSR expenditure mandatory, but the second provision of Section 135 dilutes the spirit, saying if the company fails to spend specified amount, it can get away by just stating reasons for not spending the amount. If the funds are not spent in a year, they have been made lapsable for private companies while it remains non-lapsable for PSUs.The committee which scrutinized the CSR of PSUs also found 50% of allocations remaining unspent. In some cases, they spent them on their own employees and on their normal duties. For example, the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited spent CSR money on upgradation of passenger amenities, for which they have proper budget and is part of their duty. The panel has recommended that local masses and political representatives be involved to give feeling of ownership that would also solve problem of maintenance.The MPs further said that some 64 PSUs have been participating in PM Modi’s pet project Swachh Vidyalaya initiative, which has reported construction of 1.41 lakh toilets. But there is a lot of duplication and overlapping. Also, there is no foolproof mechanism of their maintenance, they said.

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan hails wife and seniors as he completes 10 years in office

Recalling BJP patriarchs Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, Chouhan said that he has got immense love of the party.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his wife pose for a photograph with Geeta, a deaf and mute woman who has returned India from Pakistan, at a programme in Indore on Sunday.

PTI
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who completed 10 years in office on Sunday, thanked his wife Sadhana and others for helping him to achieve this rare feat. Chouhan broke the record held by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who ruled the state for two consecutive terms from 1993-2003.”On this occasion I want to thank my party, senior leaders for their guidance and my wife (Sadhana), from bottom of my heart for their contribution without which I couldn’t have succeeded. We (my wife and me) both are so integral that my opponents attacking me sometimes end up targeting my wife too,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”BJP was the best political party in the world. I give all the credit of the feat to my party. It (BJP) has got midas touch. In place of me, if the party would have picked up someone else, he too could have also completed 10 years in the office, ” he said.Recalling BJP patriarchs Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, he said that he has got immense love of the party.”Due to senior leader’s guidance and cultural values, I could reach this point,” he added.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi rang me up and congratulated me today. This has inspired me to work more in future. Party chief Amit Shah too has blessed me over phone,” Chouhan said.Union Minister Narendra Tomar said Chouhan had launched several schemes for public welfare and some of them have been replicated in other states. While describing Chouhan as “upright” and one “pursuing wise policy with a good intent”, Tomar said MP was buzzing with development activities under his leadership.BJP organisational general secretary Ram Lal said the party puts the country first and thereafter party and self.”We think about ourselves at last. This approach has resulted in discipline in the party, which is marching ahead”, he added.Among others, the function was attended by a battery of senior leaders including BJP vice president Prabhat Jha.

After Lok Sabha adjourns, Narendra Modi shakes hands with members across party lines

Just as the House adjourned for the day after the Prime Minister’s speech, in which he said consensus was more important than majority rule, and adoption of a resolution in the House, Modi exchanged pleasantries with some members, cutting across party lines.

“We are wearing similar clothes” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said sharing a lighter moment with Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.Just as the House adjourned for the day after the Prime Minister’s speech, in which he said consensus was more important than majority rule, and adoption of a resolution in the House, Modi exchanged pleasantries with some members, cutting across party lines.While most leaders from the Congress benches had left, Kharge, was there watching from the other side of the aisle. He was about to leave when home minister Rajnath Singh called him out. Kharge responded saying “Modiji….. Dil nahi mile tho kya, haat tho mila sakten hain (even if hearts dont meet, we can shake hands).” He then went over to the Prime Minister and shook hands with him. Modi, who like Kharge, was wearing a white-kurta pyjama and cream Nehru jacket, then took note of the similarity in clothes and two laughed. Kharge then also shook hands with the home minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The differences during the debate were apparently put aside. Kharge had contested the Prime Minister’s claim that his government had ensured minimum pension of Rs 1000 to benefit those under EPFO, saying it was the UPA government that had taken the decision. Kharge had sparked an uproar from the treasury benches on Thursday when he said “any attempt to review the Constitution could result in…consequences.” The word he used was expunged by the Chair after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu called it an attempt to “threaten” the government.Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had demanded during the debate an assurance from the government that the Constitution would not be amended further and that there would be no review of reservation as suggested by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, also came up to Modi and the two shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.Before that, senior leader LK Advani, shook hands with Modi before he left the House. Advani, along with two other mps—Murli Manohar Joshi and Shanta Kumar besides another party veteran, Yashwant Sinha, had put out a statement taking on the BJP leadership after the NDA’s defeat in Bihar. While Shanta Kumar was present in the House, Joshi was out of town.During his speech, which was attended by a nearly packed House, after a two-day scathing debate on the Constitution and BR Ambedkar, Modi had reached out to the Opposition saying “the sanctity of the Constitution, it is our responsibility. We must not forget that people give us power when we move together in consensus… Consensus is more important than majority rule.”Modi not only rejected the idea of reviewing the Constitution saying it would be like committing suicide, he also praised the role of all previous governments.

LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi attend BJP parliamentary party executive meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah were also present in the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah and L K Advani during a BJP Parliamentary Party Meeting at 7 RCR in New Delhi on Wednesday.

PTI
BJP veterans Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, who had recently attacked the party leadership, on Wednesday attended the parliamentary party executive meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence where top leaders discussed the strategy for winter session of parliament starting Thursday.Advani and Joshi are among the members of the group which meets to formulate the party’s strategy during a parliamentary session. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah were also present in the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Advani and Joshi were among the four senior leaders, including Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, who had wrriten a scathing letter on the Diwali eve, targetting the top brass following the Bihar assembly election drubbing for BJP. They had said that the party had been “emasculated” in one year.However, showing signs of thaw, Advani had recently said Modi was on track to bring ‘achhe din’ (good days) while Kumar had expressed his happiness over the party reaching out to them.

45% voter turnout in Gujarat civic polls

Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a registered voter from Ranip area of the city, he could not come due to his ongoing tour of Malaysia for ASEAN summit.

The elections are considered to be a litmus test for Anandiben Patel government of BJP against the backdrop of violent stir by Patel community members for quota.

File Photo
Around 45 per cent turnout was registered today in polling held for 568 seats across six municipal corporations even as scores of voters, mainly from Patel community, could not exercise their franchise as they did not find their names in the final list prepared by State Election Commission. Though no untoward incident was reported during voting, several voters complained that they were deprived of casting vote as their names did not figure in the list. The elections are considered to be a litmus test for Anandiben Patel government of BJP against the backdrop of violent stir by Patel community members for quota, while the Congress is looking forward to spin the resentment in their favour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Voting began at 8.00 am and lasted till 5.00 pm in municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar—all currently held by the BJP. As per the tentative figures released by the State Election Commission (SEC), out of total 95.9 lakh registered voters, around 45 per cent voters cast their votes though final figures are yet to be arrived at. Prominent among voters were BJP patriarch L K Advani, Chief Minister Patel and BJP chief Amit Shah as they all are registered voters of different parts of city.Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a registered voter from Ranip area of the city, he could not come due to his ongoing tour of Malaysia for ASEAN summit. Meanwhile, the chief minister expressed confidence that her party will emerge victorious.”We are going to win the elections. After casting my vote, I am going to Saurashtra region for campaigning for district panchayats polls,” Patel told reporters after casting her vote at Shilaj area here in morning. Advani, who had raised a banner of revolt against the Prime Minister after the Bihar poll debacle, praised the NDA government after casting his vote. “I believe that the whole system takes it’s own time. Since the government is going in the right direction, I believe that the results will also be good,” Advani said in reply to a question whether Modi government has failed to fulfil it’s promise of bringing ‘Acche Din’, especially in the wake of recent price rise in pulses. Patel community members held protests in various parts of the city, especially in the CM’s Ghatlodia area, saying names of many of them were deleted by the SEC from the final voting list, which the opposition Congress alleged was done at the behest of the BJP.Congress also demanded immediate action against election officers over the goof-up. Counting of votes will take place on December 2.

Bihar MP RK Singh, who attacked party after poll defeat, meets BJP gen secy Ramlal

Singh later also expressed support for BJP veterans’ demand that accountability should be fixed for the drubbing.

BJP MP RK Singh, who has been attacking the party leadership over issues related to distribution of tickets during the Bihar Assembly polls, today met party General Secretary Ramlal here. The Arrah MP, who is a former Union Home Secretary, was called for a meeting with Ramlal following his statements in which he had targeted the party leadership during elections, party sources said.Singh, who during the Bihar poll campaign had spoken against the choice of candidates of the BJP-led NDA, claimed BJP gave tickets to people with criminal backgrounds, stressing that some of them were not “ordinary criminals” but those on whom government had declared reward.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh later also expressed support for BJP veterans’ demand that accountability should be fixed for the drubbing. “Accountability has to be fixed. Review should be made of the election debacle. We need to find out what went wrong, who were responsible. That’s what ‘margdarshak mandal’ said,” he had said in a reference to the statement by BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha.

Amit Shah denies saying leaders who’re 60 years-old & above must quit politics

A few days ago Bharatiya Janata Party’s veterans LK Advani, MM Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha said in a scathing attack on the party top brass for the Bihar debacle, that the party leadership had clearly learnt nothing from their loss in the Delhi Assembly elections.

Amit Shah who was reported of having said that leaders over 60 years of age must quit politics, has now said that he never made such statements. In what seemed to be remark made against BJP veterans LK Advani, Yashwant Sinha, MM Joshi and Shanta Kumar, BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday said that leaders over 60 years of age must leave politics. “Nanaji Deshmukh set an example that leaders who are 60 years-old and above must quit politics and do social work. Everyone must follow this,” Shah said at an event in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, as per ANI tweets.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amit Shah’s clarification tweet:Here’s what he was reported to have said:A few days ago Bharatiya Janata Party’s veterans LK Advani, MM Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha said in a scathing attack on the party top brass for the Bihar debacle, that the party leadership had clearly learnt nothing from their loss in the Delhi Assembly elections. “The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt, from the fiasco in Delhi. To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible” the veterans said in statement. “It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the Party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar,”it added.Also read: BJP veterans’ revolt: Advani and co lash out against Modi-Shah after Bihar debacle“The BJP bigwigs asserted that the principal reason for the latest defeat was the way the party has been ‘emasculated’ in the Delhi polls last year.” “A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as of the way the party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed,” the statement added. In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, the statement said that the review of the loss must not be done by those who managed as were responsible for the Bihar campaign.

Bihar debacle: Dissent should be raised within party, not publicly: Venkaiah Naidu to veterans

Further stating that Advani ji has immensely contributed to the growth and expansion of the party and we are taking note on everything, Naidu added, “I don’t discuss intra-party matters in media as I have been the president of the party before.”

In an indirect message to the Bharatiya Janaya Party (BJP) veterans for hitting out over the Bihar debacle, Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that dissent should be expressed within the party and not be made publicly.”It Would have been better if these issues were raised in the party forum rather than in public, but we take it seriously nevertheless, Naidu told the media.Further stating that Advani ji has immensely contributed to the growth and expansion of the party, Naidu added, “I don’t discuss intra-party matters in media as I have been the president of the party before.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Party is taking note on what is being said by whom. They have not come out against Narendra Modi, they have just made a comment on our strategy about Bihar. The section of media has highlighted it as a headline,” he said.In a joint statement on November 10, senior BJP leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha had sought a thorough review of the BJP’s defeat in Bihar assembly elections, stating that the party failed to learn lessons from the fiasco in Delhi assembly polls.Although no names were mentioned, the statement is being seen as an unprecedented critique of the leadership of BJP president Amit Shah and Modi.”To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat is to ensure that no one is held responsible,” the statement said. However, opinion in the top echelons of BJP remained divided on whether action should be taken against senior party leaders who have attacked Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo over the Bihar poll debacle with Home Minister Rajnath Singh said to be against any action against dissenters.Union Minister Nitin Gadkari strongly defended Modi and Shah and demanded stringent action against those making irresponsible statement and causing damage to the party’s image.Meanwhile, Arun Jaitley met senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, in an apparent bid to pacify party veterans, who have attacked the leadership of Modi and Shah.

After rap, BJP veterans to wait and watch

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu with LK Advani after paying tributes to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on the occasion of his birth anniversary, in New Delhi on Wednesday

PTI
When the BJP old guard met on Tuesday evening at 6, Raisina Road, they had no plan to issue any statement. But, as they discussed the party’s debacle in Bihar, LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie narrowed down to the view that it was time to break their silence on the party leadership’s functioning. The four leaders — all of whom were ministers in the Vajpayee regime — then shared this view over the phone with Shanta Kumar who was in Palampur.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This, according to sources, was not the first time that the old guard had met and discussed the style of functioning of the current leadership of the party. They were of the view that there was a great deal of “hubris” that had gotten into their minds, which had started “reflecting” in their action, the sources said. The old guard were of the view that it would be a mistake on the part of the party to give another term to Shah in January, according to the sources.The Delhi disaster was seen by the veterans as a one- off defeat as the party had won several assembly elections — Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand — before that. One of the leaders described Bihar as a different ball game, and said the results had come as a “shock”.The stinging statement against the leadership was drafted by the four leaders — Advani, Joshi and Kumar, who are Lok Sabha members and Sinha, who did not fight the elections to make way for his son — a day after the party’s parliamentary board blamed the Bihar debacle on caste arithmetic. The anger of the party veterans, who did not name anyone, was directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.The veterans want the party to do a review and come out with a report, but were “willing to give time” to it, the sources said.Former BJP presidents had issued a counter statement in which they refrained from taking a combative approach, but took on the party leaders saying they had set the precedent of collective responsibility.Sinha met Advani on Wednesday morning, while there was no word from the party.BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said while the party respected the views of its senior leaders, they should have said it at the right forum. However, the veterans had no fora to give their advise, according to sources. The marg Darshak Mandal, of which Advani and Joshi were members, had never met ever since it was set up over a year ago.Nilanjan Mukhpadhyay, who has written a biography of Modi, described the veterans’ move as the first big challenge to Modi. “This will go far. The target is that Amit Shah should not get another term,” he said. The writer said it would put the party in a fix. “If it attacks Advani, it would mean elevating the stature of the old guard and if it’s silent, the support to these leaders within the party will gain momentum,” he said.He said the RSS was the X-factor now and it would have to be seen which way it goes.

Bihar elections: Take strong action against those criticising Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, says Gadkari

Seeking to defend its leadership from the attack by its veterans, the BJP on Tuesday tried to put the ball back in their court.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari

Blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for Bihar poll defeat is unjust, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday. Gadkari demanded stringent action against those making irresponsible statements against Modi and Shah. He also ruled out Amit Shah’s ouster as BJP President following the party’s debacle in the Bihar elections on Sunday.On Tuesday however, replying to LK Advani and company’s criticism after the devastating loss in Bihar, senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Venkatesh Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, had issued a statement saying that the party would certainly welcome any guidance and suggestion of their seniors in this regard.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: BJP veterans’ revolt: Singh, Gadkari and Naidu offer tepid defenceSeeking to defend its leadership from the attack by its veterans, the BJP on Tuesday tried to put the ball back in their court, saying the “healthy precedent” of collective responsibility for poll victories and defeats was set by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani himself. The BJP also said it would certainly welcome any guidance and suggestion of “our seniors”, shortly after Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar raised a banner of revolt against the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah in the wake of Bihar poll debacle.Related Read: Bihar polls rejected dictatorial attitude of BJP govt: CongressThe BJP response came by way of a joint statement issued by three Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, all former BJP Presidents. “The Party has been very fortunate to have been led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri LK. Advani for decades. They had set a healthy precedent of the Party collectively taking up responsibility for victories and defeats. The Party would certainly welcome any guidance and suggestion of our seniors in this regard,” the brief statement said.Reacting to the rebellion of veterans in the BJP, Congress, though refusing to comment directly, had said it speaks volumes about the functioning and authoritarian style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, which the main opposition has been highlighting over past 15 months.Party spokesman and former minister Manish Tiwari had said while it was an internal matter of the BJP, the manner veterans in the BJP, who had lead the party from two seats in the Lok Sabha to making it a ruling party, were sidelined and isolated speaks of Modi’s mind and work style.Another spokesman Abhishek Singhvi had said the BJP and Modi have not learnt any lessons from the poll debacle in Bihar. In an apparent reference to the BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha’s diatribe against the party, Singhvi said what was a matter of worry was that no action was initiated against Vijayvargiya even after he made a derogatory statement against his party colleague which kicked up a row.Singhvi said what is being witnessed was the politics of deception as the PM was “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds” to keep the core constituency happy, as also the RSS which has got the “remote control”.”The finance minister attributes the defeat to (party) motormouths but, sir, where is the concrete action taken? What is the use of the finance minister giving us all the homilies when neither he nor his party’s top leadership has taken the slightest action,” Singhvi asked.

PM Modi attacked by party elders after big poll loss | Reuters

NEW DELHIPrime Minister Narendra Modi is facing a mutiny from senior members of his Bharatiya Janata Party for the first time in his premiership after a humiliating election defeat in the pivotal state of Bihar exposed deep rifts over his leadership.

Three party elders, including former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, released a statement late on Tuesday questioning the direction of the party, which risks embarrassing Modi just ahead of a visit to Britain.

“A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as of the way the party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed,” Advani, BJP ex-president Murli Manohar Joshi and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, said in the statement.

The doubts around Modi’s leadership raise questions about the viability of his plans to transform the world’s largest democracy into a global power and close a development gap with China.

Sunday’s loss in Bihar, India’s third most populous and poorest state, comes after a similar defeat in Delhi and is the most significant setback for Modi since he won a crushing victory in a general election last year.

The strongly-worded attack took attention away from the government’s move to ease foreign direct investment norms in sectors such as defence, civil aviation and broadcasting. In what looked like a hurried attempt to regain the political initiative, the government listed sectors where investment norms have eased but did not cite precise steps.

Modi’s failure to win enough seats for his party in Bihar despite being its star campaigner indicates a waning of his popularity, prompting senior leaders to ask for accountability.

“Those who would have appropriated credit if the party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar,” Advani and the other leaders wrote in the statement.

A BJP statement in response said the party would welcome any guidance from them.

Modi arrives in Britain on Thursday for a three-day visit expected to focus heavily on expanding trade links and during which he will address parliament.

The party has been crippled in the past by infighting among leaders, with several of them – including Advani – harbouring ambitions to become India’s next prime minister.

Modi and a dozen senior party colleagues analysed the reasons for the Bihar defeat in a meeting, but did not point the finger at anyone in particular for the loss.Modi visited Advani at his residence on the day of the results to greet him on his 88th birthday, but there were no signs that differences had been healed.

“The letter penned by BJP party elders reflects what many within the BJP have said in private, but were unwilling to articulate publicly,” said Milan Vaishnav of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“Unfortunately for the mutineers, they are now marginalised within the party. Hence, their letter will only have impact if its core message is picked up and amplified by those more central to the party’s current operations.”

(Reporting By Andrew MacAskill and Krishna N. Das; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

BJP veterans’ revolt: Advani and co lash out against Modi-Shah after Bihar debacle

“To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible.”

File Photo

In a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) top brass for the Bihar debacle, party veterans L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha said that the party leadership had clearly learnt nothing from their loss in the Delhi Assembly elections. “The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt, from the fiasco in Delhi. To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible” the veterans said in statement. “It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the Party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar,”it added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“The BJP bigwigs asserted that the principal reason for the latest defeat was the way the party has been ‘emasculated’ in the Delhi polls last year.” “A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as of the way the party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed,” the statement added. In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, the statement said that the review of the loss must not be done by those who managed as were responsible for the Bihar campaign.

Bihar elections 2015: Well-poised to jubilate, BJP startled by final results

As decided earlier, about 24 party spokesmen manned the office to handle the media and give out bytes.

As news trends showed a favourable position for the BJP early in the morning, the party office looked well-poised to celebrate. Party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah went to the Prithviraj Road residence of party veteran LK Advani to wish him on his birthday. As decided earlier, about 24 party spokesmen manned the office to handle the media and give out bytes. Early news reports from some news channels indicated a victory for the BJP, goading them to go ahead with celebrations. But, as the results trickled in around 9:30-10am, showing a clear and massive victory to the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), the mood at the party office took a huge slump. Party workers, visibly displaying the grump, look distressed, and the party office began to wear an increasingly deserted look.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As soon as it became clear that the BJP was lagging significantly behind, party leader Ram Madhav said that the party would accept “whatever is the mandate”. “We try to learn from every election. Give us some time. We will take corrective measures,” he said. A while later, he tweeted: “JDU+ has registered a good victory. Compliments to the leadership. We accept the verdict in all humility, will analyse thoroughly and learn from mistakes.” Humbled by what they expected to be a fierce victory, the party will now hold a parliamentary committee meeting to discuss the poll verdict on Monday.

Karthik Gowda gets married in lavish multi-crore wedding at Coorg

Though invites had been sent to Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and BJP senior leader L K Advani, they did not attend states the report.

Karthik Gowda

The Union Law and Justice Minister DV Sadananda Gowda’s son Karthik Gowda got married on Friday at Coorg in a very lavish wedding. Karthik Gowda tied the knot with Rajashree, the daughter of businessman K Nanaiah.The Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi attended the wedding as did Governor Vajubhai Vala, according to The New Indian Express. There were many VIPs, businessmen and friends and family who were present.Though invites had been sent to Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and BJP senior leader LK Advani, they did not attend the wedding. Reformed don Muthappa Rai was one of the invitees and he was seen taking selfies with people at the wedding.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karthik Gowda has been in the news as actor Mythria Gowda had filed a case against him alleging rape. But it was stayed by the High Court.According to the daily, the wedding preparations were opulent with costs running in crores. With the pandal costing Rs 1.3 crore, the three-day wedding amounting to Rs 5-7 crore. Ten thousand guests feasted on wedding day lunch that included more than 30 vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with Kodagu specialties.

LK Advani my ultimate guru and guide, says Shatrughan Sinha

Shatrughan Sinha

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) Member of Parliament Shatrughan Sinha on Wednesday described the veteran party leader Lal Krishna Advani as his ultimate guide, friend and philosopher.”Mr. Lal Krishna Advani has been my friend, philosopher, guide, guru and ultimate leader. Main sari baate unke samne rakh donga aur kahoonga aap jo hai ap hi hai. (I will keep all my views in front of him and say whatever you are, you are),” Sinha told ANI in an exclusive interview.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On being asked whether he felt he had been sidelined by the BJP, Sinha refused to say much, but referred to Advani as his mentor and ultimate friend. “Whatever happened with Advani ji, Murli Manohar Joshi ji or Jaswant Singh or with Yashwant Sinha ji, I would not like to speak much on that. I only know that Advani ji is my ultimate friend, guide and guru,” he said.

Rajdeep Sardesai writes another open letter to Aaditya Thackeray; asks why Sena didn’t withdraw support when Modi met Sharif

In his letter, Rajdeep tried to puncture the arguments given by Aaditya Thackeray.

Rajdeep Sardesai

A day after Rajdeep Sardesai wrote an open letter to Aaditya Thackeray condemning the smearing of ink on Sudheendra Kulkarni and the young Sena leader replied promptly , the eminent journalist has written another open letter in reply. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sardesai, in his letter, has tried to puncture the arguments given by Aaditya Thackeray. He asks why Sena didn’t withdraw support when Modi met Pak PM Nawaz Sharif in Ufa. He also points out that Sena didn’t utter a word when the book was being released in Delhi with BJP patriarch LK Advani in attendance. Sardesai asks if Sena’s protest is confined to Mumbai only. Shiv Sena, on Monday, justified the ink smearing incident branding it ‘non-violent’ and ‘historic’. Sardesai attacked this definition saying it was nothing but brazen use of muscle power and termed it ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional’. In the letter, Sardesai asked if the Sena is above the land of the law and whether they are a political party or local militia. According to Sardesai, Sena has always believed in justifying acts of violence and it has not changed cutting across generations.He points out that Sena’s stand of holding each Pakistani guilty of terror is fundamentally flawed. Sardesai also rejects Aaditya’s hypothesis that boycotting Pakistan, as done to South Africa during its apartheid days, will help. Instead, he believes in creating global opinion against Pakistan sponsored terror.He says while Sena in opposition periodically highlighted farmers issue, it lost considerable edge and focus while being in power. Sardesai believes Sena as a party is suffering from an image trap. He ends his letter saying that Sena should take cue from Aaditya’s books and try to focus on civil debates rather than resorting to hostility. Read the full letter here

9 things to know about ex-BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni

Sudheendra Kulkarni

ANI
Sudheendra Kulkarni, the man responsible for LK Advani’s now infamous Jinnah speech is again back under the spotlight with Shiv Sena smearing ink on his face for organising former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch.In a way, Kulkarni is an oddball in Indian politics. Originally a card-carrying Marxist with pro-Soviet leanings, Sudheendra became an BJP ideologue when it hadn’t become the latest fad. He was one of the ‘liberal’ talents attracted by the Vajpayee- Advani era of BJP, who always had a difficult relationship with its parent body RSS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here are some salient features of Kulkarni’s political life so far. 1. IIT Bombay alumni Kulkarni, was originally member of CPI(M). 2. He has worked as a journalist, editing Mumbai-based tabloid Blitz. 3. Though he formally joined BJP in 1996, Kulkarni was associated with both Vajpayee and Advani from the late 80s, at a time when the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was just taking off. 4. Kulkarni was the speech writer for former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was known for his stunning oratory and phrases. The man who gave the ideological spin laced with hard data to Vajpayee was the unassuming back-room boy Kulkarni. He formally worked as Director, Communications and Research in the PMO. 5. In 2005, Kulkarni formally left BJP after the furore over Advani’s speech in Pakistan where he called Jinnah ‘secular’. Kulkarni was reportedly behind writing that speech. A civil engineer by profession, Sudheendra however said that he had only done what he was asked to do. 6. Kulkarni became associated with BJP again and was part of the Advani’s core team in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections where the veteran leader was saffron party’s PM candidate. 7. After the election debacle, Kulkarni lambasted BJP’s strategies and also RSS’s interference in it, which he believed led to the downfall. 8. Sudheendra Kulkarni masterminded the ‘cash for vote’ sting in 2008. The purpose was to show UPA resorting to horse-trading to get numbers after the Left withdrew support on the Indo-US deal. During debate, three BJP MPs showed wads of cash which they claimed where given by the government side to garner their support. BJP also gave ‘documentary evidence’ to support their proof. Parliamentary committee however found no evidence of bribing. A police investigation started in 2009. An investigation committee recommended action on leaders including Kulkarni. In September 2011, Kulkarni was arrested in connection with the scandal. He maintained that his work was only that of a whistleblower. However, within two months he walked out of Tihar jail, with High Court saying the leaders wouldn’t have conducted a sting operation if their purpose was to take bribe.9. In 2012, Kulkarni again became close to BJP and there were reports of him working closely with Nitin Gadkari. He even defended Gadkari over various corruption charges.Kulkarni is a rare breed of free-thinking intellectual who has found it hard to be part of a structured party and tempering his views according to its norms. Kulkarni may have written a number of erudite articles and his written speeches may have moved many a troubling soul, but the lingering image of him smeared in black ink will be the one he will be remembered for by the coming generations. There lies his greatest tragedy. Also read: Ex Pak Foreign Minister Kasuri reacts to ink thrown on Sudheendra Kulkarni

PM Modi’s tears only drama? Why is it so tough to believe a strong personality can also break down?

There was nothing unusual in the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke down at the Facebook Town Hall in San Jose. After all, this is not the first time that the country’s strongest political leader bared his emotional side to an audience that came to appraise him.

What was unusual this time was the fact that his emotional response occurred on foreign soil before an audience that did not belong to his ideological family. Those who have been watching Modi’s political journey will testify that the prime minister is never casual in his political demeanour, and not easily given to weak moments. Yet he found himself susceptible to a ‘personal question’ about his 90-year-old mother, and dropped his guard.

Why did he do it? Ask his opponents back home.
Are there elements of melodrama in this spectacle? Ask cynics who look at Modi’s actions from the prism of a pre-conceived notion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mark Zuckerberg during the townhall. Image courtesy: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mark Zuckerberg during the townhall. Image courtesy: @MEAIndia/Twitter

The Congress has already dismissed it as ‘drama’. But the fact of the matter, however, is that Modi’s moistened eyes are rarely if ever seen as a sign of vulnerability. On the contrary, his tender side, almost without exception, shines through from a position of strength.

Contrast Modi’s previous visit to United States of America with the ongoing tour that saw him meet a variety of top corporate honchos, IT czars and the top leadership of the world’s biggest economy. In his previous visit, there were clear instructions in the MEA — conveyed in unambiguous terms to US authorities — that Modi would be averse to any idea of patronising hospitality. He was on nine-day fast and had maintained body language that was distinctly stiff, if not outright cool at official functions.

There were reasons for Modi to be cautious, as he had been denied a US visa for over a decade on the allegations of his government’s (while he was Gujarat chief minister) complicity in anti-Muslim riots in the state.

Over the course of his nearly 18-month-long regime as prime minister, Modi has developed a personal chemistry with US President Barrack Obama and close connections with those who have been driving the world economy from the US. During his ongoing visit, Modi has seemed to be quite at ease whether in the corporate high-fliers, tech mandarins or media moguls. At the Facebook Town Hall, Modi chose to speak in Hindi to converse with the diverse audience, and was at his best talking about the relevance of social media when Mark Zuckerberg asked him a question about his mother.

Modi’s emotional outbursts always follow a pattern and come from the position of strength. And more often than not, after walking away with a victory — whether electoral, diplomatic, political or moral — this sees him walk away with his audience too.

Take for instance the days after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he broke down upon being described by BJP patriarch LK Advani as a leader who had done the BJP a “favour” by accepting its leadership in a meeting of BJP MPs in Parliament. Having gained the status of undisputed leader of the party, Modi broke down and emotionally contradicted Advani by describing the party as his “mother”.

Modi was conscious of the fact that he was consistently resisted by Advani before the elections, but his tears — while in no way stage-managed — came from his newly-acquired position of strength and he was able to effectively marginalised Advani at the function and win over the audience, without once having to resort to insults or brickbats against the party veteran.

Similarly, after his victory in 2007 Gujarat Assembly election, Modi publicly cried among his party workers at the BJP’s state party headquarters in Ahmedabad. Having won the election after a bitter contest in which he faced stiff opposition from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Modi reacted emotionally to the charge that he had become larger than the party.

In another instance, in 2003, when Modi (who had won the 2002 Gujarat Assembly election) attended an RSS conference, the general impression was that he would be pulled down or admonished. However, when he was asked about the Godhra riots that took place the previous year, Modi looked out into the audience and wept. The moved audience comprising RSS and VHP members also shed tears and praised the compassionate chief minister after the conference.

There is little doubt that the prime minister has his moments of vulnerability. But weakness? Certainly not, these moments come from a position of strength.

NSA Talks: India can put forward its arguments but Kashmir must be included, says separatist leader Shabir Ahmad

Speaking to reporters before his departure, he said, “Today we are going to ask the people of India whether former Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, their leader L K Advani or Manmohan Singh were wrong. They never blocked us from meeting Pakistan officials when they came to India during their tenure…

Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah on Saturday left for Delhi to hold talks with Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz.Amid a cloud of uncertainty over the upcoming Indo-Pak NSA-level meeting, Shah said he would be meeting Aziz tomorrow.”There is a lot of confusion. I am going anyway,” he said.Speaking to reporters before his departure, he said, “Today we are going to ask the people of India whether former Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, their leader L K Advani or Manmohan Singh were wrong. They never blocked us from meeting Pakistan officials when they came to India during their tenure…<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Kashmir is an important issue…Pakistan’s stand is clear. They are saying that they will come for talks and present whatever they want to say. India can also put forward its argument but Kashmir must be included,” he insisted.Shah, who parted ways with moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference last year and formed a separate unit, was yesterday placed under house arrest and not allowed to go for Friday prayers.The top separatist leaders have received an invite from Pakistan High Commission in Delhi for a reception being hosted in the honour of National Security Advisor, who is scheduled to arrive in Delhi to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval tomorrow.The Pakistan High Commission’s invitation to Geelani and other separatist leaders to meet Aziz has upset New Delhi but Pakistan has stuck to the line that such meetings were “routine”.Meanwhile, the state government has said that it will not detain any Hurriyat leader.

No redlines in diplomacy: Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

The separatist leader said Hurriyat feels that if both the countries are able to carry forward the dialogue process with sincerity, the amalgam has no issue whether to join the process of dialogue now or later.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
With India asserting that a meeting between Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz and Kashmiri separatists was unacceptable, moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today said there should be no redlines and pre-conditions in diplomacy and politics.”The reported drawing of redlines by India coupled with its pre-conditions are not non-political. There are no redlines in politics and diplomacy,” Mirwaiz said addressing Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The separatist leader said Hurriyat feels that if both the countries are able to carry forward the dialogue process with sincerity, the amalgam has no issue whether to join the process of dialogue now or later.”Hurriyat is desirous of a meaningful dialogue (between the two countries) to settle all outstanding problems, especially the core issue of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said adding “sidelining Kashmir or ignoring theKashmiris won’t help.” “Kashmir is not a boundary dispute or a regional problem but linked to the future of 1.25 crore population. The issue could be resolved only by taking into consideration the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state,” he said. He also said that the people of Kashmir are “not the third but the basic party to the issue and enjoy ownership rights”.Hurriyat was always desirous of strong relations between India and Pakistan so that a conducive atmosphere is created to pave way for resolution of all outstanding issues, he added. Terming Kashmir as the “biggest hurdle”, he said the two countries cannot improve their relations till the Kashmir issue remains unresolved.”All the outstanding issues between the two countries are the off-shoots of Kashmir problem. The premiers of the two countries during their meeting in Ufa agreed to resume dialogue to resolve all issues for peace and prosperity. The biggest hurdle between the two countries is not terrorism but the issue of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said. He said Hurriyat leadership held talks with former Prime Minister A B VAjpayee and his deputy L K Advani besides Pakistani leadership during the previous NDA government at the centre.”It was the then government which provided travel documents to Hurriyat leaders after Vajpayee talked about resolving Kashmir within the ambit of humanity,” he said. He said the state assembly has no role in the resolution of Kashmir issue which could be resolved only through UN resolutions or talks between the parties to the dispute.

BJP leaders pay tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Calling it a nation’s “loss of a visionary”, BJP today paid glowing tributes to former President A P J Abdul Kalam with party chief Amit Shah describing him as the “best exemplar” of the idea of India.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India serving between 2002 and 2007
File Photo
AFP photo
Shah said Kalam was a “rare combination” of science, education and morality and his personality and achievements will inspire the coming generations.
“He served Mother India literally until the last breath of his life. He was truly a ‘karma yogi’ par excellence. I always regarded Dr Kalam as the best exemplar of the idea of India, one who embodied the best of all the cultural and spiritual traditions that signify India’s unity in immense diversity.
“Dr. Kalam’s personality uniquely harmonised science and spirituality. As the President of India, he also harmonised the agendas of security and development.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read : Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a multi-faceted personality
Shah said Kalam dreamt of a developed, prosperous and strong India and dedicated his life to realising this dream.
“Nation will always be in debt for his contributions. His death has caused an irreparable loss to the nation,” Shah said, recalling that Kalam played a key role in making India a space and nuclear power.
BJP patriarch L K Advani said the void left by his absence cannot be filled.LK Advani Veteran BJP Leader His belief that India would become a developed nation by 2020 inspired millions of Indians. He was a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. He was also unparalleled in his ability to motivate young minds. His demise has left a void in our national life, which cannot be filled. Nevertheless, he will be affectionately remembered by generations to come as an ideal Indian.”PM Narendra Modi also expressed his grief. He tweeted,In his condolence message, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari described the Bharat Ratna as a great scientist, a true nationalist and a wonderful human being. “In his death the nation has lost a visionary and the scientific community a missile expert,” he said.Also Read : Abdul Kalam showed no signs of life when brought to hospital: Doctor​
Abdul Kalam Passes Away
Kalam, 83, was rushed to the hospital in Nongrim hills in Meghalaya capital at around 7 pm, where he was in the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) for 45 minutes before he was declared dead.Dr A M Kharbamon, a specialist who attended to Kalam after he was brought to the hospital, told reporters that he was declared dead at 7:45 pm.​Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Kalam was a “self-made man”, who inspired generations of scientists and the youth of our country. “As the President during 2002-07, Dr Kalam proved to be a people’s President. He extensively travelled across the country with the mission of inspiring the students and the youth. As President, he discharged his constitutional responsibilities to perfection and to the admiration of all,” he said.Kalam was a true nationalist and the pride of the nation, Naidu said in his tribute. “He was a great son of India.” He said the government was looking to either shift him to Delhi or to dispatch a team of doctors to Shillong, where he had suddenly collapsed at an event yesterday, but “he was snatched away from our midst so suddenly that there was no time”.

No need for Congress to apologize for Emergency, says Salman Khurshid

Hyderabad: There is no need for the Congress to apologize for the imposition of the Emergency in 1975 as people realized the decision was right and voted Indira Gandhi back to power, senior party leader Salman Khurshid has said.

“Why should we apologize? Why should we discuss Emergency? Certain things happened. After that, people of India voted Smt. Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister. So, if we have to apologise, then people of India will also have to apologise…why did they elect her,” the former External Affairs Minister said.

Salman Khurshid. Image courtesy- PTISalman Khurshid. Image courtesy- PTI

Salman Khurshid. Image courtesy- PTI

Khurshid said there was no need of going back into history as the government of the time did what it felt was necessary.

“When people thought it was wrong, they voted us out of power. When they realized that the decision was right, they voted us  back to power,” Khurshid told PTI in an interview.

“I think that’s a statement of history..that’s a pronouncement of history. Nobody has to apologise for anything. And what  difference would that apology make?” he said, when asked if Congress should apologize for the Emergency.

“I think there are many issues that are only relevant to what happened at that time. I could even ask the Opposition to apologize because they created a situation in which it became necessary to bring about the Emergency,” Khurshid said.

The Congress leader said instead of “reviving history over and over again”, all should look at the problems the country faces today. BJP patriarch L K Advani had recently whipped up a controversy by his remarks on Emergency when he told a
national daily–“At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy notwithstanding the constitutional and
legal safeguards are stronger.”

“Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature. I don’t have faith because of its weaknesses. I don’t have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again,” Advani, now a member of the BJP’s Margadarshak Mandal, said.

Latching on to Advani’s comments, Congress and other opposition parties claimed those were directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The saffron party veteran, however, later clarified he had not spoken about any individual and was apparently referring to the Congress.
“If I am worried about the future of Indian democracy it is because no senior leader of the Congress has come out and expressed remorse about what the party did in 1975,” he later said.

PTI

Shatrughan Sinha calls for LK Advani’s ‘active participation’ in BJP

Pitching for LK Advani, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Friday said the party misses the stalwart’s “active participation” in organisational affairs and called for his “guidance and consultation” on important issues.

PTI
Pitching for LK Advani, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Friday said the party misses the stalwart’s “active participation” in organisational affairs and called for his “guidance and consultation” on important issues.”I can say that Advaniji has been a friend, philosopher and guide. He is the ultimate guru, and leader not only to me but to the entire BJP. Definitely, we miss his active participation.”I can only hope, wish and pray that Advani is taken into confidence. There should be consultations with him and his guidance should be there. I also wish him health and long life so that he can lead us for many more years,” Sinha told PTI in an interview.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about the perception that Advani was not given due importance in the party, Sinha said, “That is for the people to see and decide. We are passing through rough weather. But we shall sail through.”Asked if the Modi government has lived up to the expectations of the people, Sinha said, “This is a very subjective issue, of living up to the expectations of people.”I know that people have tremendous expectations, not only from the BJP but also from the leadership, our action hero, the dynamic and dashing Mr Narendra Modi,” the former Union minister said.Referring to senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s dig at the party leadership that “All those who are above the age of 75 were declared brain dead on May 26, 2014,” the actor-politician said it would always be better to have some guides and guardians.”On Yashwant Sinha’s remarks, I feel that had we (BJP) had some more guides and guardians, it would have been better. Things would have been set right even before they deteriorated so fast,” the BJP MP from Patna Saheb said.

Ex RAW chief Dulat’s claim of ‘goof up’ by Vajpayee government in Kandahar stokes controversy

In forceful assertions by its leaders, BJP said there was no other option left then but to release the three dreaded terrorists to save the lives of people on board the Indian Airlines plane that was hijacked and taken to Kandahar.

AS Dulat

Image Courtesy: ANI
Former RAW chief AS Dulat’s claim of a “goof up” in Kandahar hijack response by the Vajpayee government in 1999 triggered a controversy on Friday with BJP outrightly rejecting it while Congress alleged that its “soft” approach laid the “foundation of terrorism”.In forceful assertions by its leaders, BJP said there was no other option left then but to release the three dreaded terrorists to save the lives of people on board the Indian Airlines plane that was hijacked and taken to Kandahar. Dulat, the former head of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), had said that the Crisis Management Group (CMG) “goofed up” the entire case by not immobilising the plane when it had landed in Amritsar and that the then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah felt the decision by Union Government to release terrorists was a “mistake”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP outrightly rejected Dulat’s claims about the alleged “goof up” of the IC-814 hijacking incident. It also rebutted claims of the ruling party compromising with terrorists and terrorism and accused Congress of allowing people like Warren Anderson, responsible for the death of thousands in Bhopal gas tragedy, escape scotfree. “Foundation of terrorism not only in India but the entire world (was laid) when three terrorists were let loose by a soft government led by the BJP”, Congress spokesman Tom Vadakkan said, latching on to Dulat’s claims.Accusing the BJP of practising “false nationalism” and “fake patriotism”, he said it was a fact that the “base” of terrorism not only in India but the world was laid with the release of the three ultras. “Congress demands that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP apologise unconditionally to the nation for having aided, abetted and facoured anti-India elements, terrorists and criminals,” he said.Rejecting Congress claims, BJP Spokesperson MJ Akbar said Congress has a “very convenient memory” on Kandahar while noting that the decision to save hijacked Indians was taken after consultations with everyone.”I challenge it to answer one question: Should those around 200 Indians have been allowed to die? Please ask them this question and please ask them to respond,” Akbar said.”It is regrettable, but perhaps their (Congress’s) occasional amnesia, where it suits them. On Kandahar, consultations were held at the highest level by senior leaders of NDA. It was a national crisis. In the spirit of the Vajpayee government, consultations were held with all the parties,” he said. Yashwant Sinha, a senior BJP leader and a Union Minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet during the Kandahar incident, claimed that there was no other option before the government but save the lives of passengers.”Anyone who is criticising that decision should come out openly and say we should have sacrificed the lives of passengers held and not released the terrorists. There was absolutely no other option, except to brittle down their demand as much as we could through negotiations and then the very minimum had to be accepted,” he said. Three hardcore terrorists were released by the government in exchange for the lives of the 155 passengers and the crew members members to end the 8-day-old hijack crisis. Former Union minister Sinha denied any “failure” during the Kandahar episode and said the issue was negotiations with those who had hijacked the plane and arrive at a settlement. He also denied there was any exchange of money in the Kandahar incident and justified then Union Minister Jaswant Singh going there to deal with any political decision at the last moment. “Jaswant Singh had gone as we wanted a political person to be in-charge on the spot. If something had gone wrong at the last moment, who would have taken the political decision?” he asked.Sinha was also not in favour of revealing secrets as Dulat has, saying, “All of us are repositories to many secrets. Secrets go to the grave with us. We should not talk about them. If the oath of secrecy is violated so freely then it will become too difficult for the government to function.” BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma accused Congress of raking up “dead issues” for its political survival and charged the opposition party with allowing Warren Andersen, who was responsible for thousands of deaths in the Bhopal Gas tragedy, to escape scot-free.”Congress is devoid of issues and is trying to borrow them and rake up dead issues,” he said. On the issue of Syed Salahuddin seeking help for his son’s medical admission, BJP spokesperson Akbar sought to put the blame on the Jammu and Kashmir government led by Farooq, saying the decision may have been taken by it and the question should be posed to him. “We want to say very categorically, very unequivocally, without the least hesitation, that the government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had nothing to do with that decision,” he said.Congress leader Vadakkan said his party stood vindicated by Dulat’s revelations, which are severe indictment of BJP Government and establishes that self-styled ‘nationalism’ of BJP is guided by extending help to terrorists and criminals on ‘humanitarian grounds’.Another Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said the interview by former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has brought “certain disturbing facts” in the open including that the Vajpayee government was in “active communication” with the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and even admitted his son to a medical course.”It shows the pseudo-nationalism of the BJP… Whenever in power, it has compromised with terrorists and terrorism,” Kumar alleged, adding that Saluhaddin and his organisation was responsible for the killings of thousands in the country.Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen also rejected the claim that its supreme commander Syed Sallahuddin contacted a senior officer of Intelligence Bureau to get a medical seat for his son. “The claim of Dulat about Sallahuddin contacting an intelligence official to get a medical seat for his son is a lie as big as the Himalayas. There is no truth in the claim,” Hizbul spokesman Saleem Hashmi said in a statement.Sallahuddin had no contact with any government, non-governmental or security agency, Hashmi added. Moderate Hurriyat Conference also outrightly rejected the statement of Dulat that its Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq could have been made to join the mainstream politics. “We outrightly reject Dulat’s revelation…,” the separatist amalgam said in a statement here.Meanwhile, CPI asked BJP to explain issues raised by Dulat. The Communist Party of India asked veteran BJP leader and then Union Home Minister L K Advani to “throw light” on the circumstances during the period the Kandahar plane hijack episode occurred.”The only person who can throw some light on issues like hijack of Air India plane is LK Advani. He should reply. At that time, there was lot of criticism against then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh. So, Advani should throw light on circumstances then,” CPI national secretary D Raja said.

In LK Advani’s remarks, opposition parties see ‘hint’ to Swaraj, Raje to quit

In light of senior BJP leader LK Advani emphasising the need for probity in public life, opposition parties on Sunday said that Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje must “own up responsibility” in the Lalit Modi controversy.

PTI
In light of senior BJP leader LK Advani emphasising the need for probity in public life, opposition parties on Sunday said that Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje must “own up responsibility” in the Lalit Modi controversy.”It is a very clear indication from the senior-most leader of BJP that its ministers, when they are implicated, when there are allegations against them, should own up responsibility.”The Prime Minister should come out with a clear explanation. Nothing is happening. It is in this context that he (Advani) has given this opinion. So, I think that Advaniji’s opinion is the reflection of thinking in general of the people,” said senior Congress leader PC Chacko.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a veiled message to the Narendra Modi government in the wake of the row involving Swaraj and Raje, the BJP patriarch had on Saturday said there is a need to maintain probity in public life and recalled how he had resigned soon after his name cropped up in the Hawala scam.”The very mention of Advaniji’s resignation now means what? It is a hint that he wants that these two people should own moral responsibility,” added Chacko.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said it was now clear that the ruling BJP does not intend to walk on the path of political morality.”They had claimed to be a party with a difference. What difference is that? They want to protect their own people…They might be feeling that if they take action against one it may trigger a process. By now, it is clear that they don’t intend to walk on the path of political morality. This is what Advaniji has also cautioned about,” Kumar said.Advani had resigned as an MP in 1996 following allegations of his involvement in the infamous Hawala scam. He was consequently re-elected in 1998 after his name was cleared.Entries found in the diaries of Hawala broker SK Jain were presented as crucial evidence against top politicians, including Advani, in the court by CBI.

Need to maintain probity in public life, I resigned after Hawala scam: LK Advani

In a veiled message to the Modi government in the wake of the controversy over Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje, BJP patriarch L K Advani on Saturday said there is a need to maintain probity in public life and recalled how he resigned soon after his name cropped up in the Hawala scam.

File photo.

RNA
In a veiled message to the Modi government in the wake of the controversy over Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje, BJP patriarch L K Advani on Saturday said there is a need to maintain probity in public life and recalled how he resigned soon after his name cropped up in the Hawala scam.Advani resigned as an MP in 1996 following allegations of his involvement in the infamous Hawala scam and he was consequently re-elected in 1998 after his name had been cleared.Entries found in the diaries of Hawala broker S K Jain were presented as crucial evidences against top politicians including Advani in the court by CBI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”For a politician, to command people’s trust is the biggest responsibility. What morality demands that is ‘rajdharma’ and need to maintain probity in public life,” Advani was quoted as having told the Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.Swaraj and Raje are embroiled in the Lalit Modi controversy over extending help to the tainted former IPL boss in connection with his travel documents in the UK triggering demands by the Congress for their resignation.Advani did not want to comment on the controversy involving Swaraj and Raje.”I am far away from all this today. So I don’t have anything to comment. I am not in the decision making and so I have no comments to offer in the matter,” he added.The online edition of the daily quoted the former deputy prime minister as having said that he quit on his own after the hawala scam.”The day allegations were raised against me based on Jain diaries that evening itself sitting in my house in Pandara road I took the decision to resign(as MP). It was no one else’s decision, it was mine. Soon after I called up (Atal Bihari) Vajapyee to inform my decision. He asked me not to resign but I did not listen to anyone,” he said.”People vote for us in elections. So commitment to the people is most important.”Asked whether resignation should be the norm, Advani said, “I can tell about myself. What others will do, what’s their issues, what their problems are I don’t know. And I don’t want to comment on these.”On former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who resigned following corruption charges, he said, “Since Jan Sangh era… even before that in RSS shakhas, we were taught honesty is the best virtue. There should be no compromise on corruption.”Reacting to Advani’s remarks, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said he is showing the way to the BJP as well as the Prime Minister that those people who are “tainted” should be made to resign whether it is Raje or Swaraj or anyone else.

Dictatorial mindset led to emergency: Amit Shah

Shah came down heavily on the Congress and said that the emergency perpetuated sycophancy and dynasty in the party as Indira Gandhi brooked no opposition.

Emergency was a manifestation of a dictatorial mindset and intolerance alone that was imposed behind the façade of ordinances, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah said while attacking the Congress. Shah was speaking at an event organised by a RSS affiliate organisation marking 40 years of emergency and most notably, BJP’s senior most leader LK Advani, who was jailed during emergency, was absent from the programme. The party patriarch was also absent from the party’s 35th foundation day celebrations.Shah came down heavily on the Congress and said that the emergency perpetuated sycophancy and dynasty in the party as Indira Gandhi brooked no opposition.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”People struggled hard against the intolerance and atrocities during 19 months of emergency, but eventually they won. The vigorous struggle of the people ensured that the Congress never imposed an emergency in the country again,” Shah said. The event was attended by senior BJP leaders Ram Lal, VK Malhotra, Shyam Jaju. LK Advani, though, who was the erstwhile Jan Sangh’s foremost leader during emergency was missing from the event.Without naming the Congress, Shah also went on criticise it on dynasty politics and the creation of a personality cult. “We saw during the emergency and later that everything revolved around one person. We saw how there was there was no internal party democracy. We have learnt that if you vote for the cult of one person, emergency can resurface, but, if you vote for a party, it is for democracy and, BJP has shown that party is first.” Shah’s comments assume significance in the light of comments by LK Advani. Advani had said during an interview that “I don’t have the confidence it (Emergency) cannot happen.

LK Advani not invited to RSS-backed event honouring those jailed during Emergency

The BJP on Thursday did not invite patriarch LK Advani to an RSS-backed event where it honoured those who went to jail during the Indira Gandhi-imposed Emergency in 1975. The move comes days after Advani had claimed that the ‘forces that crush democracy were stronger at present’ and said he could not rule out another Emergency.

Manit Balmiki
dna
The BJP on Thursday did not invite patriarch LK Advani to an RSS-backed event where it honoured those who went to jail during the Indira Gandhi-imposed Emergency in 1975. The move comes days after Advani had claimed that the ‘forces that crush democracy were stronger at present’ and said he could not rule out another Emergency.BJP president Amit Shah and other party leaders were invited for the function held at Delhi’s Mavalankar Hall, but not Advani.The 87-year-old member of the BJP’s Margdarshak Mandal was a glaring absence at the event where BJP chief Amit Shah hailed the BJP’s resistance of the Emergency 40 years ago. Advani was one of the prominent opposition leaders jailed by the Congress government then.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Emergency is not brought in by an ordnance or compulsion of taking to the ordinance route. Emergency is because of an authoritarian mindest and unwillingness to listen to anyone,” Shah said at the event.Last week, in an interview to the Indian Express, Advani had said that the forces that can crush democracy were stronger at present and a repeat of an Emergency-like situation cannot be ruled out. The remark which was seemingly directed at the Modi government, created a controversy, following which Advani clarified his remarks.”The Emergency remarks were directed at Congress. The party has not expressed any regret over it. I want the senior Congress leadership to apologise for 1975,” Advani told India Today in what was being seen as his damage control exercise.But this is not the first time Advani has been snubbed. In April, Advani’s name was missing from the list of BJP leaders who delivered the closing remarks at the party’s two-day national executive meeting held in Bengaluru. It was the first such meeting after the BJP came to power at the Centre in May 2014.Advani is also not the only party leader to be disgruntled with the BJP. Former union minister in the Vajpayee government, Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday lashed out at the party, saying the current leadership has ‘declared’ members above 75 years of age to be ‘brain dead’ after May 26, 2014. Apart from Advani and Sinha, Arun Shourie has also been very critical of the performance of the Modi government in the past year.

Emergency ‘worst decision’ taken by Indira Gandhi: Deve Gowda

Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda on Thursday said that Emergency was one of the worst decisions taken by former prime Indira Gandhi and added that he did not think that such an event would happen in the future.

File photo

Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda on Thursday said that Emergency was one of the worst decisions taken by former prime Indira Gandhi and added that he did not think that such an event would happen in the future.”That was the worst decision taken by Madam Indira Gandhi because all the freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of press, all such issues were curbed under the draconian law. It was one of the worst periods which I witnessed in my life,” Gowda told ANI.”I don’t think this is going to happen in the future. The country has suffered and the people have suffered,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency in the country on June 25, 1975 after the Allahabad High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court found her election to the Lok Sabha ‘null and void’. Formally proclaimed by then-president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the decision to enforce the Emergency was taken without the approval of the then-union cabinet.With protests and strikes sweeping the country after the Supreme Court’s judgement, the government officially stated that the country was ‘paralysed’ after a hard-fought war with Pakistan and justified the imposition of the Emergency by citing threats to national security.During this 22-month period, Gandhi invoked Article 352 of the Constitution to grant herself ‘extraordinary powers’ and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political rivals, arresting opposition leaders like Vijayaraje Scindia, Jaiprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani.Other atrocities committed by the government during this period include the widespread censuring of all media, the detention of people by the police without notification, abuse and torture of detainees, and the forced sterilisation drives undertaken by Gandhi’s younger son Sanjay.The Emergency officially ended on March 23, 1977, with Gandhi having released all political prisoners earlier that year. Fresh elections were called, with the Congress losing by a large margin, resulting in the Janata Party’s Morarji Desai becoming the first non-Congress prime minister of India.In an interview given to an English daily earlier this month, Advani had said that he did not see any sign in India’s current polity that assured him of any outstanding aspect of leadership, adding that he did not have the confidence that a situation like the Emergency would not be repeated in the country.

One Rank One Pension will certainly be implemented: VK Singh

Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Thursday asserted that one-rank one-pension (OROP) scheme would certainly be implemented.

dna Research & Archives
Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Thursday asserted that one-rank one-pension (OROP) scheme would certainly be implemented.”The Prime Minister has made a promise regarding OROP. It would be implemented. There was some delay because calculations are going on. Therefore it is taking time. Let’s not lose heart. I have full faith in the Prime Minister. It would be implemented exactly as wanted by the retired Armymen,” Singh said.Several retired army officers have expressed resentment over the delay in introduction of the OROP scheme. Singh was speaking on the sidelines of a convention on Yoga.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When asked by reporters about senior BJP leader LK Advani’s warning that emergency-like situation may recur, Singh evaded a direct reply and said, “Go to Advani-ji and ask him in what context he said that.”

Advani interview indicates veteran has lost faith in BJP leadership: AAP

“This has a political context and clearly indicates that Advani has no faith in the BJP Government and no faith in the leadership of Narendra Modi, and he clearly visualises that under the leadership of the BJP, the government is everyday crushing democracy and creating a situation, an ambience, where the Emergency is not far,” Ashutosh told ANI.

File photo.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh on Thursday claimed that a recent interview given by veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani was indicative of his dissatisfaction with the current leadership of the party, and added that they feel that the veteran fears that the country is being pushed towards an Emergency-like situation.”This has a political context and clearly indicates that Advani has no faith in the BJP Government and no faith in the leadership of Narendra Modi, and he clearly visualises that under the leadership of the BJP, the government is everyday crushing democracy and creating a situation, an ambience, where the Emergency is not far,” Ashutosh told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am reminded of his blog when Modi was to be made the prime ministerial candidate of BJP in 2013: at that he discussed Mussolini, Hitler, Fascism and dictatorship. He wrote to the then-BJP president Rajnath Singh, saying that the party has moved away from Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee and is fulfilling the personal interest of one individual. He also hinted that Modi was not good for Indian democracy,” he added.Advani had earlier in an interview to an English daily said that he did not see any sign in India’s polity that assured him of any outstanding aspect of leadership, adding that he did not have the confidence that a situation like the Emergency would not be repeated in the country.

Kejriwal agrees with Advani’s emergency comment; questions if Delhi will be Govt’s first experiment

Commenting on Advani’s remarks, RSS ideologue M G Vaidya said Advani is a member of the BJP’s Magadarshak Mandal and he did not think he was sending a message to Modi.
File Photo
PTI
BJP patriarch L K Advani’s statement that “forces that can crush democracy are stronger” now created a buzz in political circles leading to speculation that it was a barb aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi but RSS dismissed it while Congress and other BJP rivals shared his concern.”At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger….Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature. I don’t have faith because of its weaknesses. I don’t have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again.” Advani told Indian Express in an interview.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted saying Advani’s concerns are valid and he questioned if Delhi was the Central Government’s experiment in conducting an emergency.Ashutosh, AAP leader, said Advani’s statement clealy indicates that he has no faith in BJP government and no faith in its leadership.”He (Advani) clearly visualises that the leadership of Mr Modi and the government of BJP are every day crushing Indian democracy and creating a situation and ambience where emergency is not far,” he said.However, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan latched on to Advani’s remarks saying the “jury is out” from the ruling party itself and he was indeed hinting at “emergency-like” situation under Modi’s rule.”Today the jury is out. Advaniji is vocal. What he had to say, he has said. It is obvious whom he is talking about, whose government is there, who is the Prime Minister. He knows it. But he is a statesman-like leader of the BJP. He did not want to name the Prime Minister. But whoever reads the interview, he/she would understand he is talking about Modi,” Vadakkan said.Quoting from Advani’s remarks, he said the veteran leader is “right” when he says the present situation in the country signals towards emergency.JD (U) leader KC Tyagi, who was also imprisoned with Advani during thre Emergency, said “I agree with Adavani Ji that circumstances like emergency and context are still alive and the reasons lead to emergency are not finished yet.”SP leader Naresh Aggarwal remarked that that if Advani has expressed a worry then it was for the government to consider it seriously as a veteran member of their party has expressed a concern like this”The system that is going on in the country at this time is not democratic and somewhere the dictatorship attitude is reflecting,” he said. Commenting on Advani’s remarks, RSS ideologue M G Vaidya said Advani is a member of the BJP’s Magadarshak Mandal and he did not think he was sending a message to Modi.”I don’t feel anything like that. He (Advani) is quite senior in age and experience. So he can talk to Modi. He is in the ‘Margdarshak Mandal’ of BJP. I don’t think he has an intention of sending a message to Modi through this interview.” BJP spokesperson M J Akbar also felt it was not aimed at individuals but at institutions. “I think Advanji was referring to institutions rather than to individuals. I respect his views, but I personally don’t see emergency, any chance of any emergency being reimposed in the country. I think that age is over, Indian democracy is too strong, much stronger now,” he said.(With Agency Inputs)

I don’t have confidence that Emergency cannot happen again: LK Advani

“At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger,” said Advani.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch Lal Krishna Advani has said he fears that an emergency like situation could arise again and India’s political system is still to come to terms with the Emergency.The veteran party leader’s remarks come even as the Modi government faces heat from the opposition over Lalit Modi and Sushma Swaraj row.In an interview to Indian Express, ahead of the 40th Anniversary of the emergency, LK Advani said that “forces that can crush democracy” are stronger.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger,” said Advani.The veteran leader also feels that enough has not been done that gives him the assurance that civil liberties will not be suspended or destroyed again. He said that he could not assert confidently that an emergency could not happen again.When asked what makes India vulnerable to the Emergency-like situation, Advani said: “I do not see any sign in our polity that assures me, any outstanding aspect of leadership. A commitment to democracy and to all other aspects related to democracy is lacking.”Advani also expressed that today there are some weaknesses in the political leadership.“Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature. But kamiyon ke karan, vishwas nahin hota (I don’t have faith because of its weaknesses). I don’t have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again.”

Live: PM Modi arrives in Mathura, will address thousands to mark 1st anniversary of NDA govt

May 25, 2015

Highlights

  • 16:07(IST)

  • 15:22(IST)

  • 15:17(IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address a rally in Mathura today to mark the first anniversary of his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTIPrime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Modi will address the rally at village Nagla Chandrabhan in Mathura of Uttar Pradesh, which is Upadhyay’s birth place.

BJP sources said this will be the first of a series of public rallies being organised by BJP across the country during the week long celebrations from 26 to 31 May that will be addressed by various leaders.

The party and government will commemorate the completion of one year of its government as ‘Jan Kalyan Parv’ celebrations.

Union ministers and BJP MPs and functionaries will fan out across the country to tell people about the welfare measures taken for the underprivileged sections and farmers as part of a week-long ‘Jan Kalyan Parv’ which the party has lined up to mark the NDA government’s completion of one year in office.

Meanwhile, party leaders in Mathura are expecting declaration of a few welfare schemes on the occasion by Modi, that would be a befitting tribute to Upadhyay.

The Prime Minister is likely to announce implementation of the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme concerning ex-servicemen at his rally.

Defence ministry sources on Sunday said modalities relating to the long-pending demand of ex-servicemen have been thrashed out.

“TV screens are being installed so that people can see and hear the prime minister. The rally will be telecast live to over 130 countries,” a BJP leader said.

The prime minister, who will arrive at a helipad here at 3.45 pm on Monday, will spend some time at the memorial of Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. He will leave for Delhi later in the day.

Superintendent of Police (Crime) Ashok Kumar Rai said: “Our preparations are foolproof… Senior officials held a detailed meeting. We will again hold a review meeting on Monday.”

Meanwhile, another police officer said a letter had been received at the Mathura SSP’s office threatening an explosion at the rally ground.

A man whose brother allegedly sent an SMS to a journalist threatening to kill Modi was arrested on Saturday night, police said.

Police officer Rai said: “We are not bothered by these silly threats.”

With agency inputs

Posters outside BJP office, Amit Shah residence seeking return of Sanjay Joshi

The posters with pictures of Modi, Shah and Joshi took a dig at the Modi government’s slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”, and asked why Joshi was not being taken along.

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Posters on Saturday sprung up outside the BJP headquarters and residences of party president Amit Shah and L K Advani in New Delhi, seeking the return of Sanjay Joshi, Narendra Modi’s bete noire and former general secretary, to the party-fold.The poster depicting the photograph of Joshi, once a powerful BJP leader who was divested from all party posts in 2005 following a CD controversy, sought his “ghar wapsi”. The posters with pictures of Modi, Shah and Joshi took a dig at the Modi government’s slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”, and asked why Joshi was not being taken along.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The poster states that BJP workers’ ‘Mann ki baat’ be heard and “Sanjay Joshi’s ‘Ghar Wapsi’ be initiated”. It also says, “With all, justice for all. In this lies BJP’s development”. The posters, that appeared outside the BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road, and besides the houses of BJP President Amit Shah on Akbar Road and veteran party leader L K Advani on Prithviraj Road, were later removed.No BJP leader was willing to comment on the issue. Similar posters with Joshi’s pictures had come up in 2012 targeting Modi without naming him and Joshi had then issued an appeal that no such posters be put up and that he has no role in it. A number of leaders of the party had celebrated Joshi’s birthday on April 6, with some Union Ministers and BJP MPs also wishing the former RSS Pracharak.

PM Narendra Modi accuses Congress of ‘selling the nation to benefit the rich’

Taking on Congress over its charge that his government was pro-rich, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused it of ‘selling the nation to benefit the rich’ when it was in power and asked BJP workers to fight the falsehood with facts and self-confidence.

Taking on Congress over its charge that his government was pro-rich, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused it of ‘selling the nation to benefit the rich’ when it was in power and asked BJP workers to fight the falsehood with facts and self-confidence.In his concluding address at the two-day national executive meet of the party, Modi said the NDA government was for the poor and weaker sections of society and cited several schemes and decision of the Centre to drive home his point.We are accused of being a government for the rich but the truth is that the previous UPA government worked for the rich.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Was a government, which allocated coal blocks on the basis of a note, not for the rich?,” he said, referring to the coal scam in which several blocks were allegedly given away to a select few.The UPA government sold the nation to benefit the rich and wasted the money of the poor on the wealthy. We have earned Rs two lakh crore by auctioning only 20 coal blocks and this money has come from the pockets of the same rich people. Does the BJP government work for the rich?”, Modi asked, according to a BJP statement.Stressing the pro-poor credentials of his government, Modi said his it will provide LPG connection to one crore poor households and noted that it brought down the gas price to below five dollar per unit after the UPA government had increased it to 8.4 dollars from 4.2 dollars.He made a reference to tax on the super rich and said BJP workers should cite facts and respond to these falsehood targeting the government with self-confidence. Modi asked BJP workers to work towards ending manual scavenging and told them to ensure that this campaign does not remain confined to newspapers’ pages.The Prime Minister also made a mention of senior party leaders, saying it was due to their guidance that the government had met successes. Senior leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been kept out of the government and also decision-making process in the party.

LK Advani disinclined to make a speech at National Executive?

As the BJP conclave began here on Thursday, the buzz was around whether the party’s senior leader LK Advani will address the national executive meet or not. Since the Modi government came to power in May, 2014, Advani has been present in Parliament everyday and has attended several party meetings. But, he has mostly remained silent. Advani, according to sources, is not inclined to make a speech at the national executive either.

LK Advani

As the BJP conclave began here on Thursday, the buzz was around whether the party’s senior leader LK Advani will address the national executive meet or not. Since the Modi government came to power in May, 2014, Advani has been present in Parliament everyday and has attended several party meetings. But, he has mostly remained silent. Advani, according to sources, is not inclined to make a speech at the national executive either.
At the national council meeting in Delhi in August last year. Advani did speak but he made it clear that it was because party president Amit Shah had asked him to do so even if it was for a short time. A similar scenario cannot be ruled out this time. If the party insists, he may just agree to say a few words.
<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As long as Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister, he used to make the valedictory address just after Advani’s speech at the meet. After Vajpayee retired from public life, it was always Advani who made the valedictory address at the national executive meetings of the party. However, as Prime Minister, it would be Narendra Modi who would now make the valedictory speech.
Advani, as a senior member of the national executive, can participate in discussions on the party resolutions during the two-day executive.
At the first press conference held here ahead of the national executive meet, a dozen questions were asked about Advani’s participation. However, the party remained evasive, deepening the speculation. The decision, according to sources, was left to Advani.
“All the marg darshaks give guidance to the party… We have all evolved under their shadow,” said party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain when asked about whether Advani would be making a speech at the conclave.The only occasion when Advani did not speak was the party’s Goa national council in June, 2013, when Modi was declared the chairman of the BJP’s campaign committee. Advani had skipped the meet.
Course of the meetingA resolution on foreign policy, which would focus on how the Modi government has brought about a change in the dynamics of relations with countries, will be taken up on Friday. The political resolution to be adopted on Saturday, when the meet concludes, is likely to address the land acquisition bill on which the party is trying to counter the Opposition campaign dubbing it as anti-farmer. The party is planning to come out with a ready reckoner on the bill, which will be one of the focus area of the meet

Babri demolition row: SC issues notice to Advani, other BJP leaders over conspiracy charges

The Supreme Court today issued a notice to senior BJP leader LK Advani, 19 others based on a plea filed by Haji Mehboob, a petitioner in the title suit representing the Muslim community, challenging the Allahabad HC order which acquitted them of criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Apart from  Advani, notice have been issued to senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.

The apex court granted four weeks time to the Central Bureau of Investigation and others to respond to the plea in the case.

The petition claims that CBI may not make adequate efforts to get conspiracy charges restored against party leader L K Advani and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case. According to a report in the Indian Express, Mehboob’s fears stem from the fact that Rajnath Singh, an accused in the case, was now Home Minister and his ministry had administrative control over CBI. Also, another accused, Kalyan Singh, was now Governor of Rajasthan.

His plea said that due to the change in political scenario, litigation policy of the Centre and statutory authorities had changed their stand. “There are reliable reports… CBI may not seriously press the said petition in its true intent and spirit,” it said.

The matter was mentioned before Chief Justice H L Dattu Monday for an urgent listing and he agreed to hear it with the main matter Tuesday.

Meanwhile, extensive consultations are on at the highest level in BJP regarding the approach to take in the 22-year-old conspiracy case filed following the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Economic Times reported today.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani.Senior BJP leader LK Advani.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani.

A bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra heard the Central Bureau of Investigation’s appeal which was last listed before the apex court February 5 when it was directed to be listed for final hearing on “1st April, 2014 before an appropriate bench”.

Though the matter is pending before the apex court since March 3, 2011, for the first time it came up for hearing after formation of the Narendra Modi government triggering speculation whether there would be any shift in the stand of the government from the one taken by the UPA government.

The notice on the CBI plea was issued March 3, 2011 and the matter has been listed before the court 23 times. The CBI which had moved the apex court February 18, 2011, nearly nine months after the Allahabad High Court verdict May 20, 2010, has yet to persuade the court on the justification for delay in challenging the high court order.

The CBI in its appeal before the apex court has said that the verdict discharging Advani and others of the offence of criminal conspiracy “is inconsistent with the previous judgment rendered by the Allahabad High Court on February 12, 2001”.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court by its February 12, 2001 order had held that the trial court committed no illegality in taking “cognizance of joint consolidated charge sheet and all the offences were committed in the course of the same transaction to accomplish the conspiracy”.

The high court by its said order had noted that the “evidence for all the offences was almost the same”.

With inputs from Agencies

All you need to know about SC issuing notice to Advani, 19 others in Babri demolition case

The Supreme Court today sought responses from senior BJP leader L K Advani and 19 others on a plea against dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against them in the Babri mosque demolition case.

Besides Advani, Union Minister Uma Bharti and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh also have been issued notices. The Allahabad High Court on May 20, 2010, absolved them of the conspiracy charges in the 22-years old case.

Here are the key facts about the case:

1. A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu issued notices to the BJP leader and the CBI on a separate plea filed by Haji Mahboob Ahmad, one of the petitioners in the Babri mosque case. Haji in his plea, has alleged that CBI may dilute its stand in the wake of the change in the government at the Centre.

Earlier, the CBI had moved the apex court against Allahabad High Court’s verdict on dropping conspiracy charge against Advani and 19 others in Babri mosque demolition case.  CBI today sought time for filing a fresh affidavit on delay in filing the appeal and on the merits of the case. The court allowed the plea of the probe agency and granted four weeks time to file the response.

Though the matter had been pending before the apex court since March 3, 2011, it for the first time it came up for hearing after the formation of the Narendra Modi government triggering speculation whether there would be any shift in the stand of the government from the one taken by the UPA government.

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani. PTIVeteran BJP leader LK Advani. PTI

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani. PTI

2.  The petition claims that CBI may not make adequate efforts to get conspiracy charges restored against party leader LK Advani and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case. According to a report in the Indian Express, Mehboob’s fears stem from the fact that Rajnath Singh, an accused in the case, is now Home Minister and his ministry had administrative control over CBI. Another accused, Kalyan Singh, is now Governor of Rajasthan.

His plea said that due to the change in political scenario, litigation policy of the Centre and statutory authorities had changed their stand. Moreover, Mehboob, who said his house was among the many burnt in the violence that followed the demolition, has requested the court to let him intervene and argue as a party in the case irrespective of CBI’s appeal since the agency’s intentions were doubtful. He said his petition ought to be heard on merits to ensure the matter is not botched up, the Express report added.

3. The CBI which had moved the apex court February 18, 2011, nearly nine months after the Allahabad high court verdict May 20, 2010, is yet to persuade the court on the justification for delay in challenging the high court order. The apex court had earlier pulled up CBI for the delay in filing an appeal against the Allahabad High Court verdict. CBI has challenged in the Supreme Court the May 21, 2010 order of the high court, which had upheld a special court’s decision to drop the charge against the leaders.

In its verdict, the high court had upheld the special CBI court order dropping conspiracy charge against Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Murli Manohar Joshi. The others against whom the charge was dropped included Satish Pradhan, C R Bansal, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Sadhvi Ritambhara, V H Dalmia, Mahant Avaidhynath, R V Vedanti, Param Hans Ram Chandra Das, Jagdish Muni Maharaj, B L Sharma, Nritya Gopal Das, Dharam Das, Satish Nagar and Moreshwar Save. Bal Thackeray‘s name was removed from the list of accused persons after his death.

4. While upholding the special court’s order, the high court had allowed CBI to proceed with other charges against Advani and others in a Rae Bareily court, under whose jurisdiction the case falls. The May 2010 order of the high court had said there was no merit in CBI’s revision petition against the 4 May, 2001 order of the special court which had directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against them.

5. There are two sets of cases — one against Advani and others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri mosque was demolished, while the other case was against lakhs of unknown ‘karsevaks’ who were in and around the disputed structure.

6. CBI had charge sheeted Advani and 20 others under sections 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B
(imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc. circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace) of the IPC. It had subsequently invoked charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the high court. While upholding the special court’s order, the high court had said CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rae Bareily or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders.

7. On December 6, 1992, a mob of Hindu religious volunteers demolished the Babri mosque allegedly been built by the Mughal ruler Babar in the sixteenth century at a place where Lord Ram temple existed. Hindus regard Ayodhya as the birth place of Lord Rama.

Many senior leaders including Advani, MM Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Ritambrara, and Mahant Avaidyanath were charged for conspiracy in the demolition.

With inputs from Agencies

Government formation: BJP, PDP come closer to alliance in Jammu and Kashmir

Hopes of the impasse over government formation ending have brightened in the restive Jammu and Kashmir. A high powered J&K state BJP core group is meeting the party’s central leadership on Monday to discuss the possible alliance in a bid to end impasse over the government formation. The group would be meeting the BJP president Amit Shah in national capital to discuss political situation and give their inputs about the possible alliance in Jammu and Kashmir.”There will be some breakthrough very soon. We will be sharing our inputs with the leadership in New Delhi,” Kavinder Gupta, newly elected MLA from Gandhi Nagar and former Jammu Mayor, told dna. The BJP has already begun consultations with the PDP at various levels. A BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, said party veteran L K Advani discussed government formation in the state with PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed over telephone.BJP’s state vice president Ramesh Arora said top party leaders are in touch with Mufti. “I cannot say whether Advani has called Mufti or not but I can confirm that our top leaders are in touch with Mufti,” he said, adding it would take some time for the party to cobble up a coalition for forming the government in the State. Sources said BJP was trying to woo Mufti on the developmental plank and package for the unemployed youth. The party has assured all possible central assistance to Mufti but he is demanding political guarantees from the saffron party.BJP general secretary Ram Madhav is scheduled to be in Kashmir in a few days with a mandate from his party to meet the top PDP leadership over the issue of government formation. Sources said he will call on Mufti Muhammad Sayeed at his residence, the sources said. Madhav has already met some leaders from PDP including Muzaffar Hussain Baig and held deliberations over government formation.After his visit, BJP leader and union minister Arun Jaitley is likely to hold discussions with Sayeed on telephone next week, which will set in motion the process of structured talks between the leaders on the two sides, sources said. Jaitley, one of prime minister Narendra Modi’s key advisors on J&K, had spoken to Mufti days after the elections were announced in the state and held deliberations over the possible BJP-PDP tie up in the state. Sources said the PDP was trying to buy time over government formation. It is understood that BJP has conceded some of the demands the PDP had communicated in a 6-point charter through an intermediary onDecember 26, including the full 6-year term to Mufti as the chief minister and talks with Pakistan to pursue former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee’s peace building ideas. In its effort to be in government in the state, the BJP has given in to some of PDP’s demands, while refusing to give up on its position on Article 370, a top BJP source said. “We have communicated to PDP what can be the Common Minimum Programme for a healing touch with effective governance in the state. We are also in favour of taking forward talks with Pakistan over a period of time,” the source said.The only sticking point in the BJP’s response is refusal to the PDP’s demand for holding talks with the separatist leaders until they commit allegiance to the Indian Constitution, the party leader said. Even while disagreeing on the demand to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the BJP document assures that the security forces won’t be allowed to misuse the powers granted under the Act.Time for constituting the new assembly is running out as the term of current House ends on January 18. If the assembly is not constituted by then, the state may be placed under the governor’s rule. BJP with 25 MLAs has emerged as the second largest party after PDP with 28. The BJP has the support of two MLAs of former separatist Sajad Lone led People’s Conference. NC has got 15 seats, followed by Congress with 12. “And while we are on the subject let me reiterate that neither I nor my father are discussing any sort of alliance with the BJP. Period”, Omar Abdullah tweeted. Omar is likely to reach Kashmir from London next week to chair a meeting of his party.

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