New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday extended the parole of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi, booked under the National Security Act (NSA) for his alleged hate speeches, till 14 May.
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The order was passed by a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan before which the Uttar Pradesh government accused Varun of violating the undertaking furnished by him for securing the interim bail.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for state government alleged that Varun did not furnish his whereabouts to Pilibhit district magistrate on two occasions that is on 16 April to 20 and 23 April to 25.
He alleged that during this period, the BJP leader was in Uttar Pradesh, but did not inform the authorities in Pilibhit.
However, Varun’s counsel and senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi denied the allegations and said he would respond to them.
Salve said that Varun had made a representation before the Union government against invocation of the NSA which was rejected.
Rohtagi alleged that both the central and state governments have one agenda to keep Varun in jail.
Varun was granted parole on 16 April for two weeks.
The BJP leader had approached the court after he was arrested under the NSA for allegedly making inflammatory statements and causing a breach of public order when he went to Pilibhit to surrender on 28 March in a case registered against him for allegedly making “inflammatory and communal speech” during his campaigning there.
The court had on 2 April issued notices to the state government and the Pilibhit district magistrate on the allegation by Varun, the BJP nominee from Pilibhit, that NSA was invoked against him with a political motive to sabotage his electoral debut.
Pilibhit constituency would go to polls on 13 May during the last and fifth phase of parliamentary elections.
Lalu, Nitish trade charges as campaign picks up momentum
Patna: Campaining for the prestigious Patna sahib and Patliputra parliamentary constituencies on Friday reached its crescendo with both RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar embarking on canvassing support for their candidates engaging in diatribes against each other.
While Railway minister Prasad is locked in a triangular contest with his friend-turned-foe and JD(U)’s Ranjan Prasad Yadav and Congress’ Vijay Kumar Yadav in Patliputra, cine star-turned politician and BJP nominee Shatrughan Sinha is crossing swords with his film industry colleague and Congress rival Shekhar Suman and RJD’s Vijay Kumar Sahu in Patna sahib.
Kumar, star campaigner of ruling NDA, visited most of the places where Lalu sought votes for himself and Sahu by choppers in these two constituencies.
Describing Lalu as “mismanagement guru”, the chief minister, while addressing election meetings at Masaurhi, Naubatpur, Bikram, Bihta, Panal and Daniyawan in Fatua, said it would be unfortunate if the former was elected from Patliputra.
“What you need is to bolt the gates and keep him out if Bihar is to survive,” kumar said, alleging that the Lalu-Rabri regime which ruled the state for 15 years “virtually ruined the growth of the state.”
Advising the electorate not to get influenced by the caste factor in Patliputra, which is dominated by Yadavas, the chief minister said people must think that they are Bihari first and the state’s interest is supreme.
Taking a dig at Lalu Prasad’s claim of turning around the railway’s profits, Nitish Kumar, referring to the recent train disaster in Chennai, sarcastically remarked “it is always a turn around as is evident from the Chennai incident”.
“Now, railways under Lalu Prasad has become so efficient that it can run without drivers,” he said.
Addressing several poll meetings the RJD chief further sharpened his offensive against the Nitish Kumar government, charging him with “being utter failure” in implementing centrally-sponsored schemes for the poor and minorities.
“We (Centre) send assistance here, but its benefits fail to reach the poor,” Prasad said and dubbed the Nitish government as “mere ghosana (announcement) government”.
He claimed that the RJD-LJP-SP alliance was set to sweep the polls.