New Delhi: Uttarakhand BJP legislator Ganesh Joshi, who brutally thrashed and injured a police horse, is a “danger to society” and he must be sacked both from the legislature and the party, prominent global animal rights group PETA said on Tuesday.
“He must be disqualified from his post because any person who beat up a horse is not far from doing the same with people and is a danger to society. The party must not retain him,” PETA chief executive Poorva Joshipura said.
In a bizarre display of cruelty, Joshi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Mussoorie, attacked and severely injured Shaktimaan, a white horse with Uttarakhand Police, during a protest against the Harish Rawat government in Dehradun on Monday.
The horse was left bleeding and the vets attending it said its leg will have to be amputated. The severe attack led to widespread public outrage.
The PETA chief urged Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to “immediately expel Joshi from the Vidhan Sabha on the grounds of extreme and criminal misconduct”.
“To ensure the maximum safety of animals, a strict action needs to be taken,” Poorva said.
She also urged BJP president Amit Shah to expel Joshi from the party. “This is a party which is supposed to stand for everyone, including animals. How can it tolerate the bleeding of a horse?”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is expected to demonstrate respect for the country’s animal protection laws and basic decency of publicly condemning his party colleague,” the PETA official said.
“We are calling upon police to make sure he is punished to the maximum extent of the law,” an angry Poorva said.
On the social media, people, including animal rights activists, Bollywood celebrities and prominent political leaders, slammed Joshi and sought his sack from the party and the legislature.
B-town’s leading lady Sonam Kapoor termed Joshi’s act “inhuman”. “This is disgusting inhuman behaviour. (Chief Minister) Harish Rawat I hope you deal with this man!” a disappointed Sonam said.
Bollywood actress Minissha Lamba also spelt the same view and said: “What fault was it of the police horse? Yolked by man into service.. Beaten by man for his service..”
Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha slammed Joshi for his action and said: “That white horse is such a metaphor for the common man. Power rides it and anarchy incapacitates it.”
Model-actor Rajneesh Duggall said: “What a shame.. Ganesh Joshi deserves to be punished.. Whatever ur agenda, y drag an animal into it..”
The horse had been working with Uttarakhand Police for a decade but the injury may well end its career. An FIR has been lodged against Joshi, who denied the charge of attack on the horse, well captured on videos, and said that the government was trying to “shift focus from the core issues” of the state. (IANS) (Image Courtesy: peta.org)
In April, the opposition may lose its edge over BJP in Rajya Sabha
NDA led by Modi has faced many embarrassments in Rajya Sabha in past few years
This is expected to change soon
Come April, the opposition in the Rajya Sabha may lose its edge in the numbers game and the power to stall any government bill, as the ruling BJP-led NDA coalition is set to catch up with its rivals, though a clear majority will elude them for a while more.
As 58 MPs, including three Nominated and one Independent, are set to retire in April, the Rajya Sabha math is going to change. It is set to favour the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the trend may continue in the elections to the Upper House later too with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having solid majorities in a number of state assemblies, especially the ones it won after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
With this, while the Congress-led opposition’s numbers will come down to around 115 from the present 123, the numbers of the BJP, its allies and sympathisers together would climb to around 109 from the present 100-odd members.
And the gap, once wide enough to let the opposition invariably have its say, will keep narrowing further in the coming months.
Of the 55 retiring members (excluding those Nominated), 30 belong to the opposition camp while 24 belong to the BJP and allies. Of them, a large number of NDA candidates are set to return while the opposition will lose a chunk of its members.
As things stand now, the Congress-led opposition has 123 MPs (including 54 of the Congress) in a house of 233 elected members (apart from 12 Nominated), while the NDA has 83 members (including 58 of BJP) plus four Independents who support the BJP (these include MPs Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Subhash Chandra, Sanjay Dattatraya Kakade and Amar Singh).
Also, for all practical purposes, the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), that has 13 members in the Rajya Sabha, is also with the NDA. This means the NDA’s effective strength in the upper house of Parliament is 100.
The gap was wider till just a few months ago. This meant that during any battle between the government and the opposition in the Upper House over bills and major issues, it was the opposition that invariably had its way. The recent example was the triple talaq legislation that the opposition stalled in the upper house, demanding that it be referred to a Select Committee.
For over less than four years, the Narendra Modi government had faced quite a few embarrassments in the Rajya Sabha thanks to the majority of the opposition, forcing it often to take the money bill route to avoid a clash in the house. Under the Constitution, a money bill needs to be passed only in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cannot stall it.
However, after April, the NDA will be in a far better position.
Of the 100 BJP-allies MPs, 24 are retiring. Which means, the government will be left with 76 MPs (including AIADMK). But at least 30 from the NDA are set to get re-elected. So the number will rise to 106. Add three members that the government would nominate to the upper house and the final NDA tally will roughly be 109 MPs.
Further, there are fence-sitters such as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the YSR Congress, which are not virulently against the BJP and would not oppose the government unless for very compelling reasons.
Now, for the Congress and the rest of the opposition, they are set to lose 30 MPs (including one Independent, A.V. Swamy) through retirement and would be left with around 93 members. The Opposition may win roughly 22 seats, which means that its final tally after April is likely to be around 115 members.
The gap has clearly narrowed and the government may not be at the mercy of the opposition during crucial votes and can have its way in the Rajya Sabha if it musters its numbers by deftly wooing “floater” MPs.
The three newly-elected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members may remain equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress, though the party is friendly with some of the major opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress.
In an interesting development recently, the AAP actively participated in the opposition’s walkout and the day-long boycott of the Rajya Sabha over long intra-day adjournments of the Upper House by Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.
The AAP, which was not welcome at any opposition meetings earlier, particularly those held in Parliament House, was invited to speak at a joint opposition media interaction on the day. But nobody can be sure as to how long this bonding would last.
Partywise tally of those retiring in April-May from the opposition’s side include 13 from the Congress, six from the Samajwadi Party, three of the Trinamool Congress, two each of the Nationalist Congress Party and Biju Janata Dal and one each of the CPI-M, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
From the ruling side, 17 MPs of the BJP, three of the Janata Dal United, one of the Shiv Sena and two of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are retiring.
In terms of state-wise vacancies to be created in April, the highest number is from Uttar Prdaesh (9), followed by Maharashtra (6), Madhya Pradesh (5), Bihar (5), Gujarat (4), Karnataka (4), West Bengal (4), Rajasthan (3), Odisha (3), Andhra Pradesh (3), Telangana (2), Uttarakhand (1), Himachal Pradesh (1) and Chhattisgarh (1). IANS