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Amit Jogi expelled for six years by Congress

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Raipur/New Delhi:  Citing anti-party activities, the Congress on Wednesday expelled Chhattisgarh legislator Amit Jogi the son of former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

He would challenge his expulsion as the party is nobody’s “Bapoti” (Personal property), Amit Jogi later said.

The expulsion came in the wake of revelations about Amit Jogi’s alleged role in fixing the Antagarh by-election in 2014. The decision was taken during a meet of the Congress state unit in Raipur that also approved a proposal to suspend his father and senior Congress leader Ajit Jogi.

Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said the party had acted, and it was now the Bharatiya Janata Party’s turn to act against those involved in the “murder of democracy” in Antagarh.

“The proposal to expel Ajit Jogi was also passed. Since this right is beyond the domain of the state Congress, the proposal to expel him will be sent to All India Congress Committee (AICC),” he said.

Amit Jogi, a legislator from Marwahi, voiced disappointment.

“I am hurt. The decision to expel me without proving the allegations against me is biased and unfair,” he said. “I will exercise my right to appeal under Rule 8 of Article 9 of the party’s constitution. I have full faith in the party’s leadership.”

Just after he was expelled, some sitting and former legislators came in the open, extending their support to the Jogis. A large number supporters of Amit Jogi’s supporters gathered outside his bungalow.

After being expelled, Amit Jogi said: “Congress is not anyone’s ‘Bapoti’ (personal property).”

He said he would challenge the party’s decision in All India Congress Committee (AICC) as he has three weeks for that.

He said he was hurt by the decision. “It is a success of people of the Samanta and Zamindari system and a defeat of the Dalit and oppressed tribal. Without conducting any probe, and evidence, this decision is flawed and unjustifiable. I will continue to raise voice for the poor.”

“According to our constitution, I have the right to appeal. I have full faith in Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi. I have full confidence that I would get justice,” he added.

The Congress had earlier issued a notice to Amit Jogi over purported conversations that suggested that financial inducement was offered to the party candidate to make him withdraw from the fray in the by-election to the Antagarh assembly seat in 2014.

It also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Raman Singh and a probe into the issue by a Supreme Court judge. (Picture Courtesy:indiatoday.in)(IANS)

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BJP Offers Christians a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Is Religious Pilgrimage A New Playground For The Political Parties?

This would not be the first time that India has bankrolled pilgrimages for the Christians. Before this, the government had subsidized the Haj pilgrimage for the Muslim community

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In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented. Wikimedia Commons
In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented. Wikimedia Commons
  • The political parties (BJP and Congress ) are promising a free trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage in the coming local elections of the eastern states of India
  • The Christian population in Meghalaya and Nagaland is almost 75 percent and 88 percent respectively
  • After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner by 2022

The Campaign promises during the elections times are quite bizarre nowadays, from “I’ll cut your taxes,” to “vote for me, and I’ll set you free.”

In the coming local elections in the Christian- majority state of Nagaland in India the agenda by the rival BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Congress parties are unique: “Vote for us and get either a free or a heavily subsidized pilgrimage to Jerusalem.”

Yes, you read it right. The political parties are promising a free trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage. The offer has been put up by the Prime Minister Modi- led BJP for the upcoming elections. Even the local partners of the Congress party are treading up the same path.

Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons

The BJP has not made it clear yet if it is offering the scheme to all of India’s Christians, or only to Christians in the northeast, or only to Christians in Nagaland. The Christian population in Meghalaya and Nagaland is almost 75 percent and 88 percent respectively. Nagaland is one of smallest states of India, with the population of just under two million people.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel for Haj without Mahram

As per the Tourism Ministry figures, around 58,000 Indian tourists came to Israel in 2017, a 47% increase from 2015.

The elections are scheduled for the February 27 in three northeastern states – Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura – later this month.

The AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also tweeted on the double standard of the government and lashed out at the government for its discriminatory decision, ending Haj subsidy but allowing subsidies to continue for Hindu pilgrimages like the Mansarovar Yatra.

This would not be the first time that India has bankrolled pilgrimages for the Christians. Before this, the government had subsidized the Haj pilgrimage for the Muslim community. But recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. The government cited the reason for the subsidy withdrawal as they wanted to utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls. After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner by 2022.

Also Read: Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

The scheme is a clear cut example of hypocrisy and opportunism, especially considering the cancellation of Haj subsidies. It seems quite contrary, on the one hand, the government is cutting down the benefit scheme for one section of the society and on the other hand, some other community is been offered the same thing. Such moves bring out the double standards of the political parties just for the sake of vote bank. In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented.

In 2011, Nigeria also did something same as that of India. For many years, their government financed a trip to Mecca for Muslims, leading to some 42,000 Nigerians visiting the country. But with the change in the government, subsidies have been cut considerably and now a 12-day pilgrimage costs around 2000 dollars. The change in stance has resulted in 78% decrease from 2011.