Lohardaga (Jharkhand): Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Monday called for abolition of vote bank politics, saying it was not good for the nation’s security and development.
Click here to watch video
/Content/Videos/2009-03-31/3003_India Votes final_MintTV.flv
Addressing an election meeting here in support of party candidate Sudarshan Bhagat, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate once again criticised the Congress for not carrying out Supreme Court’s order of death sentence on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
“The incident had happened in 2001, the order was pronounced in 2002. And now we are in 2009, but still the order has not been carried out against the conspirator. It would have been carried out had he been an Anand Singh or an Anand Mohan,” Advani said.
He said the UPA government should respect the security personnel who laid their lives during the attack on Parliament and carry out the Supreme Court’s order.
Thackeray rebukes Pawar’s prime ministerial ambitions
Pune: Distancing itself from NCP president Sharad Pawar’s prime ministerial ambitions, Shiv Sena which once backed him for the top post as ‘Marathi manoos’ on Monday said it was strange that he was still harbouring the wish when his party was contesting just 22 seats from Maharashtra.
In an editorial titled ‘Delhi door hai’ (Delhi is far away), in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Sena chief Bal Thackeray claimed Pawar’s posturing at an election rally in Pune made it clear that he was not going to back Congress prime ministerial candidate Manmohan Singh after the polls, implying that he (Pawar) was still in the race for the top job.
Referring to Pawar’s statement on Saturday night that all UPA constituents would come together after the elections and elect a leader and stake claim to form a government, Thackeray said Pawar had shown “his true colours” now after concluding seat-sharing talks with Congress in Maharashtra.
“Till the time negotiations for seat sharing between Congress and NCP were on, Pawar’s refrain was that it was unrealistic for him to aspire for Prime Ministership in view of the small stature of his party and number of MPs. Now, after sealing the pact, he has started opposing Manmohan Singh,” the editorial said.
Thackeray said Pawar had caused a flutter to serve his purpose when some time back he stated that a Maharashtrian should be given an opportunity to become the Prime Minster.
The editorial, however, did not mention the Shiv Sena’s much publicised earlier stand that it would back Pawar as a Marathi in the race for Prime Ministership just as it did support Pratibha Patil in the Presidential election, going against the NDA of which it is a constituent party.
“It is said that Pawar has friends in all states. But it should be kept in mind that all his friends too are eyeing for the top slot and are not expected to clear ground for him for Prime Ministership (if UPA comes to power),” Thackeray said.
“Pawar has joined hands with Congress not because he has faith in secularism. He wants to hijack the sinking ship of Congress, already deserted by Lalu Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, and ensure that it gets stuck and anchored at a shore of his own choice,” he said, adding Pawar was once again at “his old game of hoodwinking opponents by creating a fluid situation”.
UP govt action against Varun justified: Abdullah
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the booking of the BJP’s Pilibhit nominee Varun Gandhi under the NSA by the Uttar Pradesh Government for his inflammatory speech in his Lok Sabha constituency is justified.
“The UP government has taken a strong stand on this (Varun’s inflammatory speech at Pilibhit). I think it is good. It should teach everybody wishing to use religion as a fuel for this sort of politics that there is no room for hate speeches”, Abdullah said here.
Describing Varun Gandhi’s utterances in Pilibhit as not only extremely “unfortunate” but also totally unpexpected, he said, regardless of the BJP leader’s party affiliation, he would not have expected a young 27-year-old from a family with its roots in Kashmir from the Nehru side to have such “strong communal” views.
“What surprised me even more is that he not only targetted the Muslims but also the Sikhs despite having Sikh blood in him from his mother’s side”, he said.
CPI(M) justifies invoking of NSA against Varun
New Delhi: Justifying invoking of NSA against BJP leader Varun Gandhi, CPI(M) on Monday said that “tough message needed to be sent.... and it has been sent”.
“A very strong.... tough message needed to be sent that no hate speech will be tolerated against any community and it has been sent,” party Politburo member Brinda Karat told reporters here when asked whether the use of NSA against Gandhi was appropriate.
Asked whether this will lead to misuse of the provision to settle political scores, Karat said such actions are taken “as per the perception of the state government” in special situations.
“If somebody is unapologetic and repeats it again and again. It is up to the state government to decide what action to take,” she said.
She rubbished arguments by Gandhi that the CD of his speech was doctored and said, “This is an excuse. It is a speech full of hatred.”
Refusing to attach any significance to senior BJP leaders disassociating themselves from Varun Gandhi’s comments earlier, Karat said, “It is nothing more than double speak.”
“They speak in two voices, sometimes three voices... It is Hindutva alone which BJP espouses and promotes,” she said.