Tag: Prime Minister Modi

PM Modi will never forgive Sadhvi Pragya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur

She was initiated into Sanyas and given saffron clothes, but soon she got labelled as a face of “Saffron terror”, coined by leaders in the UPA dispensation. They described “Hindu terror” a growing menace, dangerous than terrorism perpetrated by radical Islamists. Amidst such narratives, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur suffered unspeakable atrocities in the hands of police after the explosion in Malegoan in Maharashtra, which killed six people in 2008. She spent nine years behind bars, mostly without being charge-sheeted. Finally she came out on bail in 2017 on health grounds.

When Pragya Thakur was inducted into the BJP and then nominated as party’s official candidate for the prestigious Bhopal Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 general elections, it seemed to be a moment of poetic justice. For, she was pitted against Congress veteran Digvijay Singh, who was in the forefront of propagating the “Saffron terror” bogey.

The euphoria, however, was to be short lived. Sadhvi, in her moments of glory, lost no time in letting loose her tongue. She claimed the death of a decorated martyr as a result of her curse. Then she “revealed” she was part of Babri Masjid demolition and declared she was “proud” to have done her bit.

Sadhvi continued with her ill-timed outrageous sound bites even after being cautioned by the party leadership and pulled up by the Election Commission. A couple of days ago she asserted that Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse was a patriot and those who called him an anti-national should look within themselves.

This statement, however, proved to be the final nail in the coffin, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, no less, has said that he could never forgive Sadhvi, despite her apology.

In an interview to Republic TV while campaigning in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone, PM Modi said “Jo bayan aaya hai, puri tarah nindaniye hai, aswikariye hai, aur kabhi bhi aise logo ko aise galti nhi karni chahiye, galti se bhi galti nhi karni chahiye, galti se bhi galti nhi karni chahiye, satark rehna chahiye. Theek hai, baad main unhone maafi mangi, lekin main mann se unko maaf nhi kar paunga, jeevan bhar nhi kar paunga.” (The statement is highly condemnable and unacceptable. People should never make such mistakes, even by mistake, people should not make such blunders. One must be rational. Yes, she has apologised later, but I won’t ever be able to forgive her).

BJP president Amit Shah too has condemned her statement as well as those of two Karnataka leaders. Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had tweeted in support of Pragya Thakur’s take on Godse. All the three have been issued show cause notice. And Shah said the issue is being looked after by BJP disciplinary committee.

The tough stance against the trio gives hope that such radical elements won’t get preference in the BJP in the future.


Know all about Rajiv Gandhi’s holiday using warship INS Viraat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jibe at former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi as “brashtachari No 1” (Number one corrupt) may have rattled many a soul. Especially for those in their 40s and above, the image of Rajiv invariably invokes the memory of his tragic death in an LTTE suicide bombing in 1991.

Narendra Modi, however, justified what he said, perhaps rightly so, as his continued tirade against Rajiv Gandhi seems to help reconstruct the sense of privilege and entitlement with which Gandhi family ruled India. The use of India’s premier warship, INS Viraat, for holidaying is a case in point.

A story by Anita Pratap in India Today, dated January 31, 1988 offers a peek into rampant misuse of government machinery by the powerful for their enjoyment.

Titled “Idyllic vacation for the Gandhis in the Lakshadweep archipelago”, the story provides tidbits about the holiday making by Rajiv Gandhi, his family members and their friends on the uninhabited island of Bangaram in the Lakshadweep archipelago in December 1987. It is said that the island was carefully chosen as there was no prohibition and foreigners were allowed on it unlike other islands in the region.

Other than Rajiv Gandhi, the holiday makers included Sonia Gandhi, their children Rahul and Priyanka with their four friends, Sonia Gandhi’s sister with her husband and daughter, Sonia Gandhi’s mother, brother and a maternal uncle. Apart from Sonia’s extended family members, there were Amitabh Bachhan and Jaya Bachchan along with their children as well as the daughter of Ajitabh Bachchan. The author briefly mentions that Ajitabh Bachchan was being investigated for alleged FERA violation.

The story records the arrival of different people on different dates by different flights. For instance, responding to Amitab Bachchan’s special Cochin – Kavaratti helicopter flight, the author quotes Kunji Koya, general secretary of the Indian Union Muslim League at Kavaratti, as saying: ‘It’s appalling that the helicopter should be used to transport just one man – that too a man whose name figures in the nation’s biggest scandal.”

The story claims the involvement of various agencies, such as Society for the Promotion of Recreation, Tourism and (Water) Sports (SPORTS), a wing of the Lakshadweep administration. The details that went into the holiday making include a consignment of wines and liquor from Delhi, setting up of a poultry farm with 100 chickens in Agatti, 40 crates of cold drinks, 300 bottles of mineral water, besides, fruits, Amul Cheese, cashew-nuts, sweet lime, condiments, flour, and so on. It also says the first consignment of non – perishable items was sent to Bangaram by ship on December 23, while the second three days later and replenishments were sent on January 1.

However, the most controversial arrangement, which is cited by Prime Minister Modi after 30 years is in the following paragraph.

“Questionable actions were, however, in evidence. India’s premier warship, INS Viraat, was used to transport the Gandhis and moved in the Arabian Sea for 10 days. Its daily expenditure at sea is astronomical as the Virat travels with an entire retinue of escort ships. A submarine was also reported to be in attendance and some defence experts questioned the justification of depriving the navy of its most effective fighting component merely to suit Rajiv’s holiday plans. Considerable expense was also incurred in setting up a special satellite link up at Agatti for the duration of the holiday.”

This story has resurfaced at a time when the Opposition parties are “reminding” Prime Minister Modi that Defence agencies are not his private property. Well, Rajiv Gandhi did use India’s premier warship, no less, for a private holiday making.

Read the full story at:

(File photo of Rajiv Gandhi seen with Sonia Gandhi. Image credit: flickr)