Winning polls by controlling media is the only aim of BJP: Yashwant Sinha pours his heart out in open letter

By Yashwant Sinha
April 22, 2018

We all worked very hard for the victory of the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Some of us had been struggling against the rule of the UPA government, in Parliament and outside, ever since it assumed office in 2004 while some others were enjoying the fruits of office in their respective states. We were delighted with the results of the 2014 elections and expected that the unprecedented victory would mark the beginning of a new and glorious chapter in our country’s history. We backed the prime minister and his team to the hilt, and in full faith. The government has now completed nearly four years in office, presented five budgets and used up all the opportunity available to it to show results. At the end of it, however, we seem to have lost our way and the confidence of the voters.

The economic situation is grim, despite tall claims to the contrary by the government that we are the world’s fastest growing economy. A fast growing economy does not accumulate the kind of non-performing assets in its banks, as we have done over the last four years. In a fast growing economy the farmers are not in distress, the youth are not without jobs, small businesses do not stand destroyed and savings and investment do not fall as drastically as they have done over the last four years. What is worse, corruption has raised its ugly head again and banking scams are tumbling out of the closet one after another. The scamsters also manage to run away from the country somehow, as the government watches helplessly.

Women are more unsafe today than ever before. Rapes have become the order of the day and instead of acting strictly against the rapists we have become their apologists. In many cases, our own people are involved in these heinous crimes. The minorities are alienated. The worst is that the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the weaker sections of our society, have been exposed to atrocities and inequities as never before and the guarantees given to them in the Constitution stand threatened.

The sum total of our foreign policy seems to consist of frequent foreign visits by the prime minister and his hugging foreign dignitaries, whether they like it or not. It is completely devoid of substance and has failed miserably even in our immediate neighbourhood, where China is trampling all over our interests. The smartly executed surgical strike by our brave jawans against Pakistan has been wasted and Pakistan continues to export terror to India unabated as we watch helplessly. Jammu and Kashmir continues to burn, Left wing extremism refuses to be tamed, and the common man is suffering as never before.

Internal democracy in the party stands completely destroyed. Friends tell me that even in parliamentary party meetings, MPs do not get an opportunity, as in the past, to air their views. In the other party meetings, also, the communication is always one-way. They speak and you listen. The prime minister has no time for you. The party headquarter has become a corporate office where it is impossible to meet the CEO.

The most important threat that has emerged over the last four years, however, is to our democracy. Institutions of democracy have been demeaned and denigrated. Parliament has been reduced to the level of a joke. The prime minister did not even once sit down with senior leaders of the Opposition parties in Parliament when the just-concluded Budget Session was being disrupted in order to find a way out. Then he fasted to shift the blame to others. The first part of the most important Budget Session was the shortest ever. I compare this to the days of Atal Bihari Vajpayeewhen all of us were under strict instructions to accommodate the Opposition and ensure that Parliament functioned. So we had adjournment motions, no-confidence motions and other discussions under any rule the Opposition wanted.

The press conference by four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was unprecedented in the annals of our democratic history. It brought out clearly the rot that has been allowed to afflict the highest judicial institution of our country. The judges have repeatedly pointed out that democracy in our country is under threat.

Today, it appears as if winning elections by controlling the means of communication, specially the media and social media, is the sole purpose of our party and even that is threatened seriously now. I do not know how many of you will get the ticket for the next Lok Sabha elections but if previous experience is any guide, half of you at least will not. The chances of your winning the election, even if you get the ticket are fairly remote. In the last Lok Sabha election the BJP had secured only 31 per cent votes; 69 per cent was polled against it. So, if the opposition unites, you will be nowhere.

The situation demands that you speak up in the national interest. I am glad to note that at least five Scheduled Caste MPs of the party have expressed their disenchantment with the government for not delivering on the promises made to the community. I am urging you to also express your opinion frankly before the bosses on all issues confronting us. If you remain silent now you will do a great disservice to the country. Future generations are unlikely to forgive you. It is your right to demand accountability from those who are in government today and are letting down the country. The interest of the country supersedes that of the party, just as the interest of the party supersedes the interest of an individual. I am appealing specially to Advaniji and Joshiji to take a stand in the national interest and ensure that the values they have made such unparalleled sacrifices to uphold are protected and preserved for future generations and corrective steps are taken in time.

There have been some minor successes no doubt, but the big failures overshadow them completely. I hope you will give serious consideration to the issues I have raised in this letter. Please pick up courage, and speak up and save democracy and the country.

Also Read: Yashwant Sinha quits BJP, says democracy is in danger under Modi govt

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News Network
August 16,2022

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Shivamogga, Aug 16: The police today nabbed four persons in connection with the stabbing incident reported on August 15 after communal tension surfaced at the Ameer Ahmad circle in connection with the Savarkar and Tipu Sultan flex banner row.

Meanwhile, another stabbing incident reported at Nehrunagar in Bhadravathi town, in which a Hindu youth was stabbed by a Muslim youth, has flared up communal tension in the district. 

However, police denied any link with the Shivamogga incident and clarified that the stabbing was motivated by a personal rivalry.

According to police, Sunil (28) is the victim and Mubarak (26) stabbed him when he was heading towards home. He sustained injuries on head, shoulder. Later, Mubarak was arrested.

Reacting to the incident, SP B M Laxmi Prasad said that the incident has no link with the communal tension in Shivamogga. 

"Sunil had threatened Mubarak on August 15, saying that he would inform the police about his gambling activities after capturing recordings of the same on his cell phone. The video of Mubarak's involvement in gambling activities subsequently went viral on social media. Enraged by this, Mubarak stabbed Sunil," he said.

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News Network
August 5,2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 5: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that Kannada film star Puneeth Rajkumar, who died last year, will be conferred with the 'Karnataka Ratna' award posthumously, on November 1, which happens to be Kannada Rajyotsava, the state's formation day.

He will be the 10th recipient of the state's highest civilian honour.

"We have decided to confer the Karnataka Ratna award to Puneeth Rajkumar on November 1, we will be forming a committee consisting of Rajkumar family members to prepare for it, it will be conferred with full honour," Bommai said. He was speaking after inaugurating the annual Independence Day flower show at Lalbagh's glass house.

This year's flower show pays a special floral tribute to Kannada thespian Dr Rajkumar and his son and actor Puneeth Rajkumar.

Considered the Kannada cinema's reigning star, Puneeth, the youngest of five children of Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar, died of a cardiac arrest on October 29 at the age of 46.

The Chief Minister had made an announcement to confer the award on the late actor in November last year, at the ''Puneetha Namana,'' an event to pay homage to Puneeth Rajkumar, organised by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), in association with Sandalwood film actors' and technicians' associations.

The Karnataka Ratna was last awarded to Dr Virendra Heggade for social service in 2009. Interestingly, Puneeth's late father Rajkumar is among the first recipients of the Karnataka Ratna award in 1992, along with poet Kuvempu.

Other recipients of the award are S Nijalingappa (Politics), CNR Rao (Science), Dr Devi Prasad Shetty (Medical), Bhimsen Joshi (Music), Shivakumara Swamiji (Social Service), and Dr J Javaregowda (Education & Literature).

Puneeth, popularly known as 'Appu' and 'power star' by his fans, made his debut on screen when he was just six months old and went on to win a national award as a child artiste for the film 'Bettada Hoovu'. He then re-emerge as a lead actor in 2002 and went on to star in 29 films, delivering some big hits.

Noting that the flower show has been on since 1922 and attracts a large number of people, Bommai said this being the 75th year of India's Independence it has a special significance and from tomorrow lakhs of people will be coming for next ten days to witness the show.

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News Network
August 9,2022

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Udupi, Aug 9: The Supreme Court of India has disapproved categorically the practice of considering evidence while granting bail, or suspending a sentence, while expunging the observations made by the Karnataka High Court while granting bail to the woman who was convicted of murdering her husband, Bhaskar Shetty, a businessman from Udupi. 

The murder, when it came to light, had made headlines across the country.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha agreed with the contention, made by advocate Sanjay M Nuli on behalf of the victim’s mother Gulabi Shetty, that the High Court went into the issues of the validity of the ‘Will’, which was completely unrelated to the proceedings before it.

“The High Court has grossly erred in granting suspension of sentence in such a serious crime,” Nuli argued, contending that the high court went on to decide the matter as if it was deciding an appeal.

Concurring with his contention, the bench said: “We are in full agreement with the counsel for the petitioner that the High Court has totally erred in making an elaborate discussion of the evidence. This Court has time and again observed that courts should avoid elaborate appreciation of the evidence at the stage of grant of bail.”

The bench also observed that it was “totally unwarranted” of the high court “to have made a detailed elaboration of an evidence” while granting bail.

“We, therefore, expunge all the observations made by the High Court wherever it has re-appreciated the evidence in detail and clarify that the order would be construed as a prima facie consideration of the evidence for grant of suspension of sentence,” the bench said.

The apex court, however, also said it did not find anything wrong in allowing the application filed by the convict Rajeshwari Shetty, for suspension of her sentence, as the case was based on circumstantial evidence.

The top court also directed the high court's bench, which would hear the appeal on merits, not to take into consideration any of the observations the lower court made in its order on December 23, 2021.

It also requested the high court to expedite the hearing of the appeal.

“In case the petitioner does not cooperate with expeditious disposal of the matter, the High Court would be at liberty to take appropriate steps,” the Supreme Court ruled.

The trial court, on June 8, 2021, had convicted the victim’s wife Rajeshwari, their son, and the wife's alleged paramour for murdering Bhaskar Shetty, who ran a business in Saudi Arabia and owned a hotel in Udupi, and burning his body in a “homa kund” in 2016, and sentenced the three to life imprisonment.

The prosecution claimed that Rajeshwari, along with her 20-year-old son Navneet, threw chili powder into her husband’s eyes and assaulted him with a rod. Thereafter, the two tied the victim’s hands and feet, and poisoned him. Later, they carried the body to another location and burnt it by organising a ‘yagna’. To further destroy the evidence, they threw the bones and remains into a river.

Bhaskar suspected Rajeshwari of adultery and had lodged a police complaint with Manipal police station on July 9, 2016; he was murdered on July 28. The police unearthed the murder while acting upon a missing person’s complaint filed by Gulabi.

The prosecution relied upon a DNA report to conclude the recovered body parts were that of the complainant’s son.

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