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Sushma Swaraj trashes Jus. Sagheer Ahmad's report, terms it a cruel joke


Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:16:53 AM, Pervez Bari

Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), senior leader  and Opposition Leader in Lok Sabha Mrs. Sushma Swaraj

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Bhopal: Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), senior leader  and Opposition Leader in Lok Sabha Mrs. Sushma Swaraj has trashed the recommendations of the report of Prime Minister's 5th Working Group on State-Centre relation, headed by Justice (Retd.) Sagheer Ahmad, and termed it as a cruel joke with the integrity and national identity of India. She claimed that Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had sacrificed his life to preserve Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India.


Mrs. Sushma, who arrived here in Bhopal for the first time after taking over the reins of Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha from L K Advani, while talking to reporters stressed that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and any attempt to fiddle with it will not be tolerated at any cost. Dr Mukherjee as the then Jana Sangh parliamentary party leader had made Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India and any bid to bifurcate it will not be allowed, she emphasized.


It may be mentioned here that the Justice (Retd.) Sagheer Ahmad's report, calling for restoration of autonomy or an almost complete sovereignty for Jammu and Kashmir within the Indian Union, has evoked strong emotions among all parties in the state and rest of the country, excepting the National Conference which has welcomed the recommendations.


BJP leader Arun Jaitley, the Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha) in a letter to the Prime Minister said this report at best is the personal opinion of Justice (Retd) Sagheer Ahmad or of those who helped him to draft it. It is certainly not a consensus document of the Working Group. The report is a farce in so far it claims to be the recommendations of a Working Group. It deserves to be fully ignored, he said in the letter.


Meanwhile, Mrs. Swaraj termed the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission Report a divisive document which would divide the unity of the country.


She said that the BJP would play the role of a responsible opposition in the Lok Sabha. "We will not oppose merely for the sake of opposing", she said. "BJP will strongly oppose those policies which were against the national interest and support those which were helpful for the people", she added.


Mrs. Swaraj defended the BJP's decision to support the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, (JMM), in its bid to form a government in that state. ''This was the unanimous decision of the BJP's Parliamentary Board,'' she claimed


Replying to a query JMM President Shibu Soren -- who was acquitted in a murder case -- she said since the BJP decided to support the JMM in government formation, it impliedly meant that Soren was innocent. There was ''no option left'' with the party other than forming an alliance.


Stating that the JMM episode was a compulsion brought on by the country's coalition politics, she added that the current political scenario had been converted into ''bipolar coalition politics'' thus compelling the BJP not to back out from the Jharkhand arrangement.


She did not concur with a questioner that the BJP compromised its ideology while entering into an arrangement with the JMM. ''The party's Jharkhand unit first mooted the idea of such an alliance which was then given a stamp of approval by the Board,'' she said.


Mrs. Swaraj said BJP's new chief Nitin Gadkari was the choice of the organization and asserted that RSS did not interfere with its day-to-day affairs.


"Gadkari was the choice of BJP and Sangh merely put its stamp of approval on the decision," she told media persons


She said that adverse news reports that had been associated with the BJP were no longer there and expressed confidence that party's new leadership was working well towards its goals..


She  strongly denied that Sangh influences BJP in its day-to-day working saying that her party worked on its own. "We, however, get guidance and valuable advice from the Sangh from time to time," she said.


To a query, Mrs. Swaraj said the challenge before the BJP now was to project itself as a better option against the Congress in the next general elections.


To a question on a separate Bundelkhand, she said, ''Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan formed the Bundelkhand Development Authority well before the separation issue was raised.''


Mrs. Swaraj welcomed N D Tiwari's decision to resign as governor of Andhra Pradesh after his name figured in a sex scandal. "I do not know if Tiwari resigned on his own or his resignation was sought by the Congress," she said.


She said she would not like to say anything more on the subject and would comment only after the authenticity of the CD is proved.








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