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Intolerance jibe ploy of Modi’s political opponents: Venkaiah Naidu

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New Delhi: Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday claimed the perception about “rising intolerance” in the country and was being manufactured by “certain sections that are against PM Narendra Modi”  and hit out at the Congress for taking the issue up with President Pranab Mukherjee amid suggestions that the issue may rock the upcoming winter session of parliament.

“They are meeting the president to talk about rising intolerance. The Congress talking about intolerance is the joke of the century. It is like the devil quoting the scriptures,” Naidu told reporters here, claiming the Congress was not reconciled to being in the opposition and was “intolerant to the people’s mandate” that chose Modi as the prime minister.

The statement comes in the wake of criticism from a cross section, prominently global credit agency Moody’s, and expression of concern by top business leaders like Narayan Murthy and Kiran Majumdar Shaw as well as Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan.

Asked about concerns business leaders expressed last week over the vitiated atmosphere, Naidu said: “That’s not the words and phraseology they used. Some of them are misleading; others are misread.” He, however, conceded that some voices were “well-meaning” and were “naturally concerned”. “Our objection is to all these incidents being linked to PM Modi.”

He also cited “atrocities” committed in Congress ruled-states and in states ruled by “Congress-friendly parties”.

“The Dadri incident happened in Uttar Pradesh where the Samajwadi Party is in power and friendly to Congress. M.M. Kalburgi’s killing happened in Karnataka that is Congress-ruled, rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was killed in Maharashtra in August 2013 when the Congress was in power in the state. These incidents are primarily being quoted to justify the sense of outrage,” he said.

Hitting out at writers, artistes and other intellectuals protesting the sudden rise in communal attacks in the country, Naidu asked where these “conscience-keepers” were when genocide was committed against the Sikhs after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.

“Conscience keepers were silent during the Emergency, when judges were superseded, when fundamental rights were violated, when the constitution was amended to favour one individual and when thousands were sterilized forcibly and MPs were jailed,” he said.

“They had a genocide against Sikhs and their leader (then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi) justified it saying, ‘when a big banyan tree falls, the earth shakes’. Local Congress leaders led the riots against Sikhs all over India. Their silence was conspicuous during the mass exodus and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley. Now they are complaining of intolerance,” he said.

He said there was no outrage when “Prof. T.J. Joseph’s right palm was chopped off by the Popular Front of India in 2010, a friendly party of Congress in the state of Kerala, for allegedly insulting the Prophet”.

“Marxists goons entered a classroom in Kerala and hacked to death K.T. Jayakrishnan in front of his students in Kannur district. Marxist rebel T.P. Chandrasekharan was murdered in 2012. He had 51 grave cuts and slashes all over his body,” said Naidu. He also referred to the attack on Dalits in Haryana’s Mirchpur when 70-year-old Tara Chand and his 18-year-old disabled daughter were burnt to death in 2010 under the rule of then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Congress.

About BJP president Amit Shah’s statement in a poll rally in Bihar that if the party lost in the state, crackers will be burst in Pakistan, Naidu sought to dismiss the statement. “That is election campaign. The BJP president has clarified his statement,” he said.

(IANS)

 

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Is UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath losing his shine?

His failure to deliver on his promise to get all pot-holed roads fixed by a given deadline last year; the rollback -- under pressure -- in privatisation of the power sector in five cities

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Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. IANS

Is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — in power for just over a year — fast losing his lustre?

Many here feel so.

A litany of complaints about his public conduct, his behaviour with colleagues as well as common people is fast eroding the aura he had built up as the five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur who was catapulted to the Chief Minister’s office of a socially diverse and politically volatile state of 220 million people.

Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.
Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.

Last week, 24-year-old Ayush Bansal shocked many when he broke down in front of media in Gorakhpur and disclosed how the monk-turned-Chief Minister mocked him during a “junta darbaar” where he had gone to complain about a land-grab case in which independent legislator from Nautanwa, Amanmani Tripathi, was involved.

He also accused the Chief Minister of calling him “awaraa” (wayward) and pushing him while throwing his file in the air. “Maharaj ji angrily snapped at me and said my work will never be done and that I should get out of his sight,” Bansal told IANS.

While officials got down to damage control and said the matter was being looked into, the fact that Adityanath behaved in a manner unbecoming of a Chief Minister was neither contradicted by officials nor denied by the ruling party.

Barely had the din over this episode died down when two MPs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained of similar behaviour. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP from Robertsganj Chhote Lal Kharwar, accused Adityanath of “scolding him and asking him to get out”. The MP said he was deeply pained at the behavior of the Chief Minister as he tried to draw his attention to issues faced by the party faithful.

Ayodhya
In the picture, Yogi Adityanath addressing a rally at Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

“Never did the local administration listen to my plaints and when I went to meet the Chief Minister twice over many issues, ‘unhone mujhe daantkar bhaga diya’ (he scolded me and chased me away),” the lawmaker said in his letter.

The BJP leader has also shot off a letter to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, seeking help. Lal also says that definite proof of wrong-doing and corruption presented by him went unheard and unaddressed. What is surprising is that all this happened to a man who is the state president of the BJP’s SC/ST Morcha.

While Modi is learnt to have assured Lal of action, there are other similar murmurs about Adityanath’s rough behaviour. Etawah MP Ashok Dohre has also written to Modi accusing the state police of lodging fake cases against SCs and STs during the Bharat Bandh. When asked why he did not petition the Chief Minister, Dohre said he considered Modi his leader, and thus petitioned him.

Also Read: Little Known Facts About U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Alarmed by the sudden “unease” among the party’s lawmakers, Amit Shah summoned Yogi to New Delhi over the weekend and is learnt to have asked him to mend his ways. Adityanth also met Modi. Interestingly, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who party insiders admit doesn’t see eye to eye with Yogi, was also called to Delhi at the same time.

Ironically, till not long ago, the 45-year-old Chief Minister was being venerated by the party faithful as a man next only to Modi. Insiders, however, now admit that not only has Adityanath failed to show his “pakad” (hold) on the party, but is also “awkwardly arrogant in his public conduct”, and not very able in his administration.

“He may be a busy man, so have been his predecessors… he remains inaccessible and uses foul and unacceptable language at times,” conceded a senior minister who did not wish to be named. Though stopping short of calling the Chief Minister arrogant, he suggested that “Yogi-ji is better advised to be more courteous and improve his time management”.

A senior party functionary too noted “the changing ways of Maharaj-ji”, though he felt “mood swings and the tongue-lashings could be because he has to handle a big state like Uttar Pradesh”.

Yogi Adityanath
Yogi Adityanath is losing his shine. (IANS)

A senior bureaucrat also alleged that the Chief Minister often “goes off the handle” and could be very acerbic in his dealing with officials. The Chief Minister’s loyalists, however, point out that he does not like people to hang around him and wants officials to deliver fast and work within the system that has been set up. When there is any breach, he loses his temper, a close aide told IANS.

His failure to deliver on his promise to get all pot-holed roads fixed by a given deadline last year; the rollback — under pressure — in privatisation of the power sector in five cities; the poor showing in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-polls and reports that he and his deputy, Keshav Prasad Maurya, don’t get along well have already rung alarm bells in the establishment, sources said. IANS