NATIONAL POLITICS: Communal threat in Sonia focus – finding a win-win situation for all through a just ‘political and legal’ system ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, Nov. 2: The Congress today said communalism was one of the biggest challenges before the nation, apart from Naxalism and terrorism.
Addressing the AICC meeting, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said the broader message “for all of us is that our fight against communalism of all kinds, against fanaticism of all types, has to continue unabated”.
But the main attack came from Pranab Mukherjee, who said recent revelations linking communal forces to terrorist activities had exposed how hollow the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s claims of nationalism and patriotism were.
Mukherjee said communalism was continuing to erode India’s composite culture and there was need to expose the RSS. He said the Manmohan Singh government had created a development strategy in which welfare schemes came with a legal guarantee. He mentioned the rural job scheme and the right to education and food security bills to vindicate his claim.
The Prime Minister said the Congress was fortunate to have Sonia as its leader. He stressed the need for inclusive growth so that the common man could get a share of the fruits of development.
Speaking on the Naxalite problem, Sonia said: “We have always maintained that while firm police action is necessary, greater emphasis is essential on socio-economic issues. There must be greater sensitivity to the daily concerns of the tribals and other communities. Of course, these areas need to be developed but it is the nature of that development that is in question.”
She added: “People must have a say and they must have a stake. Destroying forests and their habitat through the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources does not necessarily bring them out of the abject poverty in which they are languishing.”
Left, Muslim Obama rift – rhetoric over action on the ground, a delicate balancing act, while not giving in to terrorism till the radical consensus changes ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY CITHARA PAUL
New Delhi, Nov. 2: The CPM may have lifted its boycott of American Presidents’ addresses to Parliament for reasons best known to Prakash Karat, but not some minority groups.
At least six Muslim groups, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and the Muslim Political Council, have decided to hold a protest rally on November 7, the day Barack Obama lands in Delhi.
“The Left may have its reasons for welcoming Obama. But there is no way Muslims can welcome him as we don’t see any difference between Bush’s America and Obama’s,’’ said Mujtaba Farooq, the political affairs secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
Tasleem Rehmani, the secretary of the Muslim Political Council, echoed him. “Obama has failed to make any positive impact on American imperialist agenda. The Muslims had expected a lot when he became President but he has been a disappointment….
“America has a very rigid set of policies and Obama has failed to make any change.”
Commenting on Karat’s decision not to boycott Obama’s November 8 address —there was no speech on Bush’s agenda in 2006 because the Left had threatened to disrupt it — Rehmani said: “We don’t know what change the Left has seen after Obama took charge. It is hypocrisy on their part to sit and listen patiently to the President’s address.’’
He said that while Karat had the right to say “Obama is not Bush”, he also had the responsibility “to spell out the differences”.
The Muslim groups are planning to take out the rally from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar. “We have invited all Muslim groups for the rally… every thinking Muslim is seething with anger against America and its imperialist policies,” Rehmani said.
The Jamaat-e-Islami is also organising a convention, “Save the Nation from Poverty, Slavery and Imperialism”, the same day. S.Q.R. Ilyas of the Jamaat-e-Islami claimed the Indian government was running the country against the principles of justice, non-alignment and socialism, and the convention would protest its “imperialistic” policies.
The Muslims’ main grouse against Obama is that US policies in West Asia, Iraq and Afghanistan have not changed since he took charge. They are “disappointed” that the Left, which had joined the Jamaat-e-Islami in staging protests during Bush’s visit, has changed its position.
The Left had boycotted Bill Clinton’s address to Parliament in 2000.
BJP mocks ‘silence’ on scams – all under the carpet till the skeletons someday knock from the cupboards of the oppressed ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, Nov. 2: The BJP questioned the Congress’s “silence” on the three “big-time” corruption scams — 2G, Commonwealth Games and Adarsh housing — and said it was “treating the matter as a question of party discipline”.
Shortly after the All India Congress Committee session concluded, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said: “The session took place under the most trying and difficult circumstances, at a time when the Congress is facing a string of scandals. But what was the impact of this on the three eminent speakers? The answer is silence.”
Pointing out that the cases involved “tens of thousands of crores”, Sitharaman asked if the Congress had become indifferent” towards corruption and it treated the matters as “though party discipline had been breached”.
“A probe (into the Adarsh housing scandal) is on by two senior party leaders. The (Maharashtra) chief minister offered his resignation that has not yet been accepted,” she said.
She added that instead of tackling “corruption”, the Congress resorted to “diversionary tactics” by speaking of the RSS’s “terror links”. “They should know that a former (Congress) minister and a former corporator (both from Gujarat) were not only linked to terror cases but were tried and convicted,” she said.
In Bihar, Lok Sabha Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj demanded that the Congress should instantly accept Ashok Chavan’s resignation. “Things are now out in the open. The country wants a decision,” Sushma said.
She said that the BJP would raise the scams in the House in the winter session of Parliament starting next week. “I was speaking to our national president (Nitin Gadkari) and he said more such scams in Mumbai will come out in the open in the days to come,” Sushma said.
A BJP source said Sushma and the Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Arun Jaitley would speak to the leaders of the Left and the other Opposition parties to forge a common strategy against the Congress’s “corruption”.
Given the “anti-Congress” feeling among the RJD and Lok Janshakti Party MPs after a bitterly fought Bihar election, NDA sources said the Congress may have few or no friends to turn to outside the UPA.
The BJP also proposes to corner the government on its Kashmir policy and seek an explanation for the various statements put out by the interlocutors it recently appointed, particularly one who said Pakistan must be on board in the reconciliation process.