Religion In Indian Politics

Pragya Ousted From Defence Panel Over Godse Remark

BJP has barred Pragya Singh Thakur from attending all Parliamentary Party meetings for the rest of the Winter session, a day after the controversial Lok Sabha MP made remarks referring to Nathuram Godse in Parliament.

The BJP has also recommended that Thakur be dropped from a key parliamentary panel, the Consultative Committee of the Defence Ministry.

Working president BJP JP Nadda said: “The statement given by Pragya Singh Thakur yesterday in Parliament is condemnable and BJP never supports such statement or ideology. She has been expelled from Consultative Committee on Defence and also she will not be allowed in Party’s Parliamentary Party meetings for the session.”

The MP from Bhopal had triggered uproar during a discussion in the lower house on the Special Protection Group (Ammendment ) Bill by DMK member A Raja, interjected with a remark purportedly in praise of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. However, later on, she claimed that she was referring to Udham Singh. Speaker Om Birla expunged Thakur’s remark from the record but opposition members protested outside the House.

Earlier this year, she described Godse as a ‘patriot’ and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear that such statements would not be tolerated by the party.


ED To SC: Chidambaram Has Benami Properties Abroad

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that former finance minister P Chidambaram’s Benami properties outside India can be traced to him.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, told the apex court, “There are Benami properties outside India which can be traced to him. Sixteen companies were involved in laundering and modifying the shareholding pattern. Twelve foreign bank accounts were connected, twelve foreign properties were identified and properties were found in sixteen countries which can be linked to Chidambaram.”

The top court was hearing Chidambaram’s petition challenging the Delhi High Court November 15 verdict which denied him bail in the case being probed by the ED.

He sought bail in a case pertaining to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as the finance minister.

Mehta further told the court that besides INX Media “there are other companies that also applied for FIPB approvals”.

Opposing his bail plea, Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj also said that there is “direct involvement” of Chidambaram in the case and he influenced witnesses not to participate in the investigation.

“Gravity of offence must be taken into the note; he has control over very crucial witnesses. The witnesses are not ready to come face to face.” Mehta told the top court.

He also said that the High court’s findings that he has not influenced the witnesses are “factually incorrect”.

“Witnesses are vulnerable if Chidambaram is granted bail. They did not turn up for confrontation with P Chidambaram, because of the power he used, fear he invoked in the mind of witnesses,” Mehta added.

The Solicitor General further added that the charge sheet in the case will soon be filed. “Investigation in the present case is undergoing and at a very crucial stage,” he added.

The Congress leader was first arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later.

He was arrested by the ED in the money laundering case on October 16. A special court yesterday extended his judicial custody in Tihar jail till December 11.


Terrorist Pragya calls Terrorist Godse Patriot: Rahul

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday termed BJP’s MP Pragya Singh Thakur a “terrorist” over her now expunged remarks in Parliament on Nathuram Godse.

“Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot. A sad day, in the history of India’s Parliament,” Rahul tweeted on Thursday.

Gandhi told media persons earlier here that the Thakur’s remarks reflect the “heart of the RSS and the BJP.”

“What she is saying — that is the heart of the RSS and BJP. It cannot be hidden. I do not need to waste my time demanding action against that woman,” Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi further said that no matter how much the BJP worships Mahatma Gandhi; their real sentiments are bound to come out in some way or the other. “Nothing can be hidden,” he added.

Congress MPs staged a walkout from Lok Sabha amid uproar over the first-time MP from Bhopal’s now expunged remarks in Parliament yesterday.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaking in Lok Sabha today said: “Congress was called a terrorist party (by BJP MP Pragya Thakur), the party from which thousands of leaders made sacrifices for the freedom of the nation. What’s happening? Will the House stay silent on this?Mahatma Gandhi’s killer was called ‘deshbhakt’.”

To this, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla reverted, “What she (BJP MP Pragya Thakur) said has been expunged from the record. How can there be a debate if it is not on record? “

Earlier this year, Thakur had described Godse as a ‘patriot’ following which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear that such statements would “not be tolerated by the party”.


Aditya Thackeray Shows Victory Sign

Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray and NCP leader Rohit Pawar show victory sign as they arrive at the Vidhan Bhavan for the first session of the newly elected assembly where newly elected MLAs took the oath, in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Uddhav Thackeray To Be Sworn In As CM On Nov 28

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to be sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra on November 28 and form a government led by the Maha Vikas Aghadi, an alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in the state.

“As requested today orally, the oath of office and secrecy would be administered to you (Uddhav Thackeray) on Thursday, November 28, 2019, at 18:40 hrs at Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai,” Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said in a letter on Tuesday.

MLAs of the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena had met the Governor and submitted a letter declaring Shiv Sena Chief Udhhav Thackeray as their leader late on Tuesday, following which, Koshyari issued the directives.

On Tuesday, Thackeray was unanimously elected as the leader of the tri-party alliance.

This comes after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis submitted his resignation as Chief Minister to the Governor on Tuesday as “the BJP fell short of the required number of MLAs to win the scheduled floor test”.

Supreme Court had asked the Fadnavis government to prove its majority in the 288-member Assembly before 5 pm on Wednesday.

In a sudden turn of events, both Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar were administered oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of the state, respectively, on Saturday morning, nixing Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP’s bid to form government in the state.


Chidambaram To Stay In Custody Till Dec 11

A special CBI court at Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Complex on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram till December 11 in INX Media money laundering case which is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Chidambaram was presented before the court at the end of his judicial custody today. He was arrested by the ED on October 16 and subsequently sent to judicial custody by the court in Tihar jail till November 27.

The High Court had, on November 15, dismissed his bail plea and observed that prima facie allegations against him were serious in nature and he played an “active and key role” in the offence. Thereafter, he approached the Supreme Court challenging the order.

The case pertains to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during the tenure of P Chidambaram as the finance minister.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a corruption case in this regard in May 2017. Later that year, the ED also lodged a money laundering case.

The Congress leader was first arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later.


Muslim Law Board To Seek Review Of Ayodhya Verdict

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Wednesday said that it will file a petition seeking review of Supreme Court’s order in Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case next month.

“Exercising our constitutional right, we are going to file a review petition in the Babri masjid case during the first week of December,” the organisation stated in a tweet.

They also said that Sunni Waqf Board’s decision of not to pursue the case will not affect them legally. “All Muslim organizations are on the same page,” it added.

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board had yesterday said it would not file a review petition against the apex court’s verdict in the case but was yet to take a call on whether to accept a five-acre alternative plot for a mosque.

“There was no discussion about the land which will be offered by the government. When the land will be offered, then a meeting of the board will commence about it,” Abdul Razzaq Khan, member Sunni Waqf Board, had said.

Earlier this month, a five-judge Supreme Court bench led by then-CJI Ranjan Gogoi unanimously ruled in favour of Ram Lalla and said the entire disputed land spread over 2.7 acres will be handed over to a trust formed by the government, which will monitor the construction of a Ram temple at the site.

The top court also added that an alternative five acres of land at a prominent location in Ayodhya should be allotted for the construction of a mosque following consultation between the Centre and the state government. (ANI)

Normalcy Returning To Kashmir, Says Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday that normalcy was fast returning to Kashmir and terror incidents have “almost come to nil” after the repeal of Article 370.

The minister said that the region has been facing terror incidents for the past 35 years and security forces were dealing with them effectively.

He was responding to the matter raised by Congress member K Suresh who referred to Tuesday’s terror attack in Kashmir and accused the government of misleading the house about normalcy returning to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370.

“The terror incidents have almost come to nil…normalcy is fast returning to Kashmir,” Singh said.

The minister said if there is any terror incident, the entire House condemns it.

He said no major terror incident had taken place outside Kashmir in any other part of the country.


BJP Releases Jharkhand Manifesto, Stress On Skill India

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to provide compulsory skill education to all students in the state from Class VI onwards.

The BJP, which on Wednesday released its manifesto for the coming Jharkhand Assembly polls, also promised a job for at least one member of every below-poverty-line (BPL) family in the state.

To boost higher literacy in the state, scholarships to support higher education were also promised in the manifesto.

The BJP has also promised to create a digital platform called ‘Ek Jharkhand’ where all civil services related work will be done. More and more public services will be made available on this platform.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Raghubar Das said: “We have tried to fulfil all the promises we made in 2014. We have strengthened the vigilance department and opened various anti-corruption units in the state to check corruption.”

He said the BJP will always stand with the farmers and their issues will be resolved on priority.

Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Arjun Munda were also present on the occasion.

The 81-member Jharkhand assembly will go to polls in five phases between November 30 and December 20. The votes will be counted on December 23.