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Team Swaraj, Raje, Irani and Munde: Will BJP’s female power sink PM Modi’s ship?

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By Prachi Mishra

When Modi government took the office on May 26, 2014, it was widely appreciated for including seven women ministers, six of them with Cabinet rank, a first in any Indian government. These female ministers included the names of veteran leaders like Sushma Swaraj, and some relatively young members like Smriti Irani and Harsimran Kaur Badal.

However, recently some of the female stalwarts of Bhartiya Janata Party have made it to the news for all the wrong reasons.

Here are some of the female political figures of BJP who have run into trouble in the recent past:

Sushma Swaraj

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: IANS)
Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: IANS)Sushma Swaraj

The Union External Affairs Minister was recently involved in a controversy for allegedly aiding corruption-accused former IPL Chief Lalit Modi in getting travel documents to travel outside UK, after his Indian passport was revoked.

Swaraj received flak from the opposition parties, with Congress demanding her resignation.

The External Affairs Minister, meanwhile, took to Twitter to clarify. She said she helped to go out of India on “humanitarian ground” to meet his cancer-afflicted wife who was to undergo surgery in 2013.

 

Vasundhara Raje

raje_lalit2The Rajasthan Chief Minister was also entangled in the Modi- Gate, with Lalit Modi admitting to being helped by “family friend” Vasundhara  Raje.

Raje was hit by the controversy following revelation apparently made in  a statement released by Lalit Modi’s legal team.

The statement said that Raje, who was then the Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan assembly, said she was in favour of Modi’s immigration application but on the strict condition that her name will not be revealed to the Indian authorities.

Smriti Irani

Smriti-Irani-621x414Allegations were raised against Human Resources Development Minister, Smriti Irani for her fake educational qualifications in affidavits filed with the Election Commission.

Irani became the centre of a raging controversy because of her slippery statements that involved the mention of Yale University. Following the speculations, PM Narendra Modi’s brother Prahlad demanded a probe into her degrees.

This row over Irani’s educational qualifications was finally taken to the court. The trial court had decided to declare the verdict in this case on June 24, 2015. The final decision will be out on August 28.

Pankaja Munda

pankaja-mundes-goal-maharashtra-cms-postThe daughter of late senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde is accused of allegedly defying norms in a Rs 206-crore order she was placed as Maharashtra’s Women and Child Development Minister.

As reported by media outlets, Pankaja allegedly purchased some items for Anganwadi schools in a single day without inviting tenders. The rules require all government acquisitions over Rs 3 lakh to be made through e-tenders.

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Deepika Approaches Smriti Irani Against Attack on ‘Padmavati’ Rangoli

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Deepika
Deepika Approaches Smriti Irani Against Attack on 'Padmavati' rangoli. Wikimedia

Surat, October 20: Actress Deepika Padukone on Wednesday urged Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to take action against the attackers who ruined artist Karan Ks rangoli depicting a poster of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” here.

“Absolutely heartbreaking to see the recent attack on artist Karan and his artwork! Disgusting and appalling to say the least,” Deepika tweeted, along with photographs showcasing the before and after of the “attack”.

“Who are these people? Who is responsible for their actions? For how long are we going to let this go on? Allow them to take law into their own hands and attack our freedom and right to individual expression time and again,” questioned the actress, who essays the title role in the historical drama.

Deepika then tagged Irani and wrote: “This has to stop now and action must be taken! Smriti Irani.”

ALSO READDeepika Padukone Paid more than Ranveer for Padmavati

On October 15, Karan tagged Deepika on the micro-blogging site and wrote: “A crowd of 100 people cried Jai Shri Ram and rubbed out my 48 hours intense work!”

The artist also shared two photographs on social media. In one image, he can be seen making a rangoli inspired by the poster of the film, while the other shows the artwork completely vandalized by attackers.

“Padmavati” also features Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.

In the film, Deepika plays the role of Rajput queen Padmavati, while Shahid will be seen as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer will essay the role of Alauddin Khilji.

During its production, the film witnessed many ups and downs.

Earlier this year, activists of Shri Rajput Karni Sena assaulted Bhansali and vandalized the movie’s Jaipur set over alleged distortions in the film’s script.

They were forced to move to Maharashtra to continue shooting. Still, an outdoor set of the historic period drama in Kolhapur was burnt down after two dozen unidentified people torched it.

The Shri Rajput Karni Sena has maintained it will oppose screening of the film if the facts are “distorted”.

“Padmavati”, presented by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions, is set for a December 1 release. (IANS)

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Deepika Requests Smriti Irani To Take Action Following Padmavati Rangoli Vandalism

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Padmavati
Deepika tweeted with a photograph featuring the simple logo Source: Twitter

New Delhi, October 20: Deepika Padukone has requested the Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani to take action against culprits who destroyed a rangoli featuring her as Rani Padmini of her upcoming film Padmavati.

One member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and four members of Rajput Karni Sena were arrested for vandalizing the rangoli prepared by a local artist at the Rahul Raj Mall on past Sunday. The artist took 48 hours to make the rangoli and posted a picture of it on Twitter. Police arrested the perpetrators on the basis of a video footage displaying men shouting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as they destroyed the rangoli.

Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma requested mall owners to come forward and file a case against those who do such wrongdoings. “We have arrested five persons, four of them belonging to outfit Karni Sena and one from the VHP. More persons are likely to be arrested as the video footage recovered by us shows 8-10 persons involved in the activity,” Sharma said.

“I also want to make it clear that the police will deal with strictness against any such action. Freedom of expression is everyone’s right in a democracy, but vandalism will not be allowed,” he said.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati has been facing a lot of hostility since its inception. Bhansali was attacked last year by members of Karni Sena who claim that history is being distorted in Bhansali’s film. The same group burnt posters last month featuring Deepika, Shahid, and Ranveer. They have also warned to thwart the screening of the film if facts were twisted. The movie is scheduled to release on December 1, 2017.

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India condemns support systems for terrorists in South Asia, expresses concern over North Korea’s nuclear program

Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there

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Sushma Swaraj talks about support systems of terrorists in South Asia
External affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj. Wikimedia
  • India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over South Asia’s nuclear program
  • Sushma Swaraj’s statement is significant since it comes after the BRICS Summit where many countries unequivocally named Pakistan and the terrorist groups based there
  • Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism

New York, Sep 22, 2017:  In an obvious reference to Pakistan, India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over North Korea’s nuclear and weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

“The horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia,” Sushma Swaraj said while speaking at the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly Session here.

“They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” she added.

Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there.

“There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement,” she said, calling for terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support to “be systematically cut off”.

Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN Security Council.

On North Korea’s recent offensive military posturing, she said: “The action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.”

Also read: Baloch Activist Bugti hails Sushma Swaraj for her speech against Pakistan Atrocities at UN General Assembly

She also touched on climate change and referred to Indian Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s suggestion of an alliance between the India-initiated International Solar Alliance and the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS nations.

“I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” she said.

The International Solar Alliance, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (IANS)