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Weekly Political Roundup: Kathua, Unnao and the opportunistic silence

Arti Ghargi

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The condemnation of horrific Kathua and Unnao rape cases from the Prime minister and the ruling party came only after the public outrage.

 

The Indian politics never ceases to amaze. This time the political parties returned to older ways to protest but with a new twist. Dalit atrocities were still at the forefront this week. The Congress staged a nation-wide fast to protest the atrocities committed against the Dalit community and SC/ST act amendment. BJP too, followed the suite and staged a day-long fast to protest the parliament impasse. While PM Modi continued his scheduled visit to Defence expo on the day of fast, several BJP Ministers and MPs staged fast throughout the country. Taking a jibe at this Fast politics of BJP, former NDA ally TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said that this theatrics will not solve the real problems and accused the BJP of weakening the allies.

The noisiest news among all was the Prime Minister’s silence on the Unnao and Kathua rape cases. The condemnation from the Prime minister and the ruling party came only after the public outrage and a candlelight march by Congress president Rahul Gandhi demanding the PM to speak up.

  1. Congress Fasts against Dalit atrocities:

Intensifying its attack on the Modi-led government, Congress observed a day-long fast on Monday across the country. Congress President Rahul Gandhi led the nation-wide fast. Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to arrive at the venue at 11 AM and mark his presence till 4 PM. However, the fast event in Delhi stirred a controversy when Anti-Sikh riots accused Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar was spotted on the stage. Estimating the possible backlash, Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken asked both of them to leave the spot. However, while talking to a news agency, Tytler refuted the claim and said he was not asked to leave the site.

The fast also drew criticism after the picture of its Delhi leader hopping on Chhole Bhature earlier that day surfaced on the internet. The BJP slammed the Congress for making a mockery out of the protest fast.

You can read the detailed report on Congress Fasts against Dalit atrocities, here:

Congress Fast: Rahul Gandhi to fast from 11 AM to 4 PM, Jagdish Tytler’s presence stirs controversy

 

Congress

Image Source: Twitter

  1. Chandrababu Naidu alleges BJP of weakening the allies:

Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of holding a hunger strike didn’t go down well with the Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu who pulled out of the Narendra Modi government last month. He accused the Prime Minister of playing diversionary tactics. Terming the day-long hunger strike ‘ridiculous’, Chandrababu Naidu said that it is an attempt to run away from the issues raised by the opposition.

The party had left the NDA government over Andhra Pradesh Special category status demand. When asked why the Centre did not help the Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the BJP wanted to weaken the TDP to get the control over the state. He said the BJP wanted the TDP to surrender before it.

You can read the detailed report on Chandrababu Naidu alleges BJP of weakening the allies, here:

“BJP wanted to weaken the allies”: Chandrababu Naidu

TDP

The relation between Telugu Desam Party and BJP is soured

 

  1. BJP holds a nation-wide Fast:

Following the footsteps of Congress, BJP on April 12 staged a day-long hunger strike. BJP leaders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis observed a day-long fast in the different parts of the country. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to continue his schedule of attending the Defence Expo in Chennai, Party president Amit Shah participated in the sit-in Dharna at Hubbali in Karnataka.

In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar and BJP MP Paresh Rawal attended the day-long fast. While Railway Minister Piyush Goyal too observed the fast at Thane, Union Health Minister J P Nadda fasted in PM Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi.

Here too, the party members couldn’t resist their hunger pangs and several MLAs were spotted feasting on the day of Fast itself.

You can read the detailed report on BJP holds a nation-wide Fast, here:

The fast politics: BJP leaders stage a nation-wide protest; Congress calls it “Farsical”

fast

Image Source: Web

 

 

  1. Rahul Gandhi leads candle-light march against Kathua and Unnao rapes:

Congress President Rahul Gandhi led a candle-light march organized to protest the horrific Unnao and Kathua rape case, on Thursday. Gandhi was also accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and their daughter Miraya.

The midnight march was called by the Congress President in the wake of Kathua rape case where an eight-year-old girl was gang-raped and killed brutally and Unnao rape case where a BJP MLA was accused of raping a minor and assaulting her father to death.

On Thursday evening Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Like millions of Indians my heart hurts tonight. India simply cannot continue to treat its women the way it does.” He also called for a peaceful candlelight march at Delhi’s India Gate to protest the “violence and demand justice for the victims”.

Condemning the horrific rapes, Rahul Gandhi said that the party is not trying to politicise the issue. “We want the government to resolve the matter, women should at least feel safe,” Rahul Gandhi said. Terming the Kathua gangrape a crime against Humanity, Rahul Gandhi asked, “How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil?

You can read the detailed report on Rahul Gandhi leads candle-light march against Kathua and Unnao rapes, here:

Rahul Gandhi leads candlelight march against the government inaction in Kathua and Unnao rape cases

Rahul Gandhi 

 

  1. Unnao rape accused BJP MLA arrested:

Following the verdict of Allahabad High Court, the CBI on Friday arrested the Unnao BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar- accused in the rape case. The two-judge bench of Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar was hearing the case. The senior advocate Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi had written to them demanding a court-monitored investigation of the case, which was treated as a PIL.

The court in its 20-page verdict made several scathing remarks on the situation of law and order machinery in the state. The Court observed, “The disturbing feature of the case is that the law and order machinery and the government officials were directly in the league and under the influence of Kuldeep Singh.” The judges also lashed out at the state law enforcement over the tampering of evidence and intimidation of the victim. The court also took cognizance of the arrest of victim’s father and the assault he faced in the judicial custody.

BJP MLA

Image Source: Web

You can read the detailed report on Unnao rape accused BJP MLA arrested, here:

Unnao Rape case: accused BJP MLA arrested, Allahabad HC slams state police

“No perpetrator will be spared”: Said a furious PM Modi over Kathua and Unnao rape cases

Your silence is unacceptable and India is waiting for you to speak up: Rahul Gandhi to PM Modi

UP Police arrest brother of BJP MLA accused in Unnao rape

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Fadnavis hiding corruption charges against 16 ministers: Dhananjay Munde

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Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai | Senior NCP leader Dhananjay Munde on Tuesday hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for “covering up” corruption charges against “16 of his ministers”.

He was speaking at a function “Rashtra Maharashtra” organised by the BBC Marathi News Service. “We have nailed 16 ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis government on corruption charges with clinching evidence.

However, Fadnavis has tried to cover them up and has, therefore, committed a sin,” Munde, the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Council, claimed. Munde said there were no charges of corruption against Fadnavis, though he added that he would continue to probe to find out more.

Hitting out at the ruling BJP for “politicising” the martyrdom of soldiers, Munde said the party was taking credit for the brave deeds of the armed forces personnel. On Amit Shah’s claim, at some political rallies, that 250 terrorists perished in the February 26 IAF air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot in Pakistan, Munde wanted to know where the BJP chief was getting such figures which even security agencies were not privy to.

Against the backdrop of NCP chief Sharad Pawar withdrawing from the April-May Lok Sabha contest, Munde refuted insinuations that all was not well in the Pawar household.

“Pawar saab had announced long back he would not contest Lok Sabha polls anymore. But we had requested him to fight the 2019 polls to send a strong message, which he had said he would consider,” Munde said, terming Pawar’s decision to withdraw from Lok Sabha polls as right.

On queries that the “mahagathbandhan” had no face (prime ministerial candidate) to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “Please don’t forget even the NDA has lost several alliances which raise question marks over Modi’s acceptability. This is Modi’s incompetence. Besides, several parties in different states have started uniting themselves.”

He also refuted talk that he was part of dynastic politics by claiming he had broken ties in 2012 with the family of BJP stalwart late Gopinath Munde, who is his uncle.

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Lok Sabha polls: CPI(M) announces 13 more candidates,to wait for Congress response on alliance

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CPI-M

Kolkata | The CPI(M)-led Left Front on Tuesday announced candidates for 13 more Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, taking the total number of its contestants to 38.

The grouping, however, kept its door for seat sharing talks with the Congress open till Wednesday evening by not declaring nominees in four seats, which the national party had won in the 2014 general elections.

Even the list of 38 candidates could be altered if the Left Front gets a positive response from the Congress by tomorrow evening on an alliance, the front’s chairman Biman Bose said. The development came a day after the Congress announced candidates for 11 seats including Raiganj and Murshidabad, which the CPI(M) had won in 2014.

“We announced a list of 38 candidates. We are not announcing the names of four seats which the Congress had won the last time. We will wait till Wednesday evening for a response from the Congress,” Bose told reporters here.

“If there is no response, we will go ahead with the remaining four seats. But if we get a positive response, things can change. The list that I announced today can also be changed,” he said.

“We hope good sense will prevail and the Congress will realise the need for maximum pooling of anti-BJP and anti-TMC votes in the state. We will wait for their response,” Bose said.

In response, the Congress said it cannot be browbeaten this way. “We won’t bow down before such threats or ultimatum. We have a party policy to follow and we can’t just rush into a decision. We have to discuss the matter. Let’s see what happens,” chairman of the Congress’s state coordination committee Pradip Bhattacharya told PTI.

The Left Front announced its first list of candidates for 25 seats in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls last Friday leaving 17 constituencies for the Congress. But the Congress was not happy with the seats that were left for the party by the Front.

On the claims by the Congress that it was not given enough seats, Bose said the party should examine its percentage of votes in all the 42 seats in 2014 polls before making such comments. “There are several seats where the Congress’ vote share was between 1.5 and 2 per cent,” Bose said.

After weeks of parleys failed to resolve the impasse over distribution of seats, the West Bengal unit of the Congress on Sunday called off the talks, saying it did not want any alliance by compromising the party’s dignity.

Since the beginning of seat-sharing talks between them, several issues have cropped up time and again. The initial impasse over Raiganj and Murshidabad seats were resolved after the intervention of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, and the left party had got the two constituencies.

In 2014, the CPI(M) won Raiganj and Murshidabad in a four-cornered contest, though they have been traditional Congress strongholds.

In the 42-member assembly, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has 34 MPs followed by the Congress with four. The BJP and the CPI(M) each has two members in the house. The state will go to polls in seven phases from April 11.

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National Conference fields retired HC judge Hasnain Masoodi from Anantnag

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Srinagar | The National Conference (NC) has fielded former Jammu and Kashmir High Court judge Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, known for his landmark judgement on Article 370, from the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.

The 65-year-old former judge, who retired from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in January 2016, is currently serving as the chairman of Selection-cum-Oversight Committee under the Juvenile Justice Act. “The party has decided to field Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi from the Anantnag-Pulwama parliamentary constituency,” NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told reporters at party’s head office at Nawai-Subha here.

In Oct 2015, Justice Masoodi had ruled that Article 370, granting special status to the state, is permanent. “Article 370 though titled as ‘Temporary Provision’ and included in Para XXI titled ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’ has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution,” a division bench of justices Hasnain Masoodi and Janak Raj Kotwal had ruled.

“It is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation, in as much as Constituent Assembly of the State before its dissolution did not recommend its Amendment or repeal,” the bench had added.

Also, the NC parliamentary board had on Monday decided to field party president Farooq Abdullah from the Srinagar-Budgam constituency and senior leader and former Speaker of the state assembly Muhammad Akbar Lone from the Baramulla-Kupwara Lok Sabha constituency.

The NC has not yet announced the candidates for the remaining three seats — two in the Jammu region and one in the Ladakh region of the state. The party is in talks with the Congress for an alliance and has left the decision on it to its president. “The parliamentary board of the party has authorised Abdullah to take a final decision on the alliance,” the NC general secretary said.

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