Narendra Modi a ‘Dalal’ or ‘Broker’ and ‘Commission Agent’ of the Ambanis’, not a ‘Chaukidar’ but ‘Bhagidar’: Sanjay Nirupam

In a hard-hitting, no holds barred, fearless  attack on PM Narendra Modi, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam accused Modi of being a ‘dalal’ and ‘broker’or ‘commission agent’ for the Ambanis’, reports Marathi publication ‘Sakal‘.

He is not a ”Chaukidar‘ but ‘Bhagidar‘ (not watchman, but partner) and is getting a cut or commission from the Ambanis on all the deals that the NDA government has approved for the Reliance Group, said Nirupam, who was speaking at a protest rally organised by the Mumbai Congress from Fashion Street to Azad Maidan in South Mumbai against the corruption in the Rafale Fighter Jet deal.

Nirupam was accompanied by former MP Eknath Gaikwad, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Mumbai-North MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Mahila Congress President Ajanta Yadav and Congress office bearers and activists who participated in the rally, which was attended by nearly 1000 people.

Taking the battle right up to Modi’s doorstep, Nirupam said:

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence which has bagged the Rafale deal, has never manufactured a nut or bolt of an aeroplane, forget a complete fighter aircraft and the NDA government led by Modi has given the entire contract to his “friend” Anil Ambani, whose company was registered only 10 days before the contract was signed.

Here is the online version of the Sakal article:

narendra-modi-anil-ambanis-dalal

With merely eight months left for the general elections, the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets – worth Rs 60,145 crore – is gradually becoming the biggest political thorn in the side of the Narendra Modi government, reports The Wire.

Days after Rahul Gandhi accused the Union government of hiding facts about the controversial fighter jet deal during the no-confidence motion in parliament, the Congress on Friday released a new set of documents to back up his claim that the Rafale purchase is one of the most blatant incidents of cronyism in independent India’s history.

Alleging multiple violations in the deal that could compromise India’s national security, the Congress said that both the prime minister and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman “lied” to the nation in order to favour the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited, reports The Wire.

The then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had gotten to know about the deal only a week before it was announced in a foreign land – a convention-defying act by the prime minister. Such deals have to compulsorily be approved by the cabinet committee on security but Modi unilaterally concluded the agreement.

Then, it became evident that the Modi government bought each plane at more than Rs 1,600 crore while the previous UPA government had negotiated the deal with Dassault at only Rs 526 crore, reports The Wire.

The controversy became worse when it emerged that a joint venture company between Reliance Defence Limited (RDL) – a subsidiary of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RIL) – and Dassault Aviation secured the offset deal at Rs 30,000 crore. This raised eyebrows as the public sector defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had landed the offset contract in the deal that the UPA government had struck with the French aviation company, reports The Wire.

That RIL had no experience in manufacturing planes in contrast to HAL, whose sole occupation is manufacturing defence planes, ruffled many feathers last year. In addition, the clause which required Dassault to transfer its technology to HAL also found a quiet burial as the public sector company was denied its biggest ever offset contract, reports The Wire.

Although the offset contract given to the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited – a joint venture between RDL and Dassault – is worth Rs 30,000 crore, the Congress released RIL’s papers which claimed that “a consequent Lifecycle Cost Contract” of Rs 1 lakh crore was also awarded to it, states The Wire.

BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

Mumbai: History has never been BJP’s strong domain and more so when it involves the minority community of the country. Which is why it was not surprising when the party’s member of parliament Gopal Shetty in a meeting, ironically at a gathering during the Eid-e-Milad arranged in north Mumbai, called the Christian community “angrez” (British) and claimed they did not have a role to play in India’s freedom struggle, says The Wire.

In a video which was shot on June 1 at a gathering during the event organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad, Shetty is seen addressing the public and calling the Christian community British. He further goes on to say that Muslims and Hindus played a substantial role in the pre- independence struggle and that Christians did not participate in it.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

While Shetty has tried to claim that his speech has been taken out of context, many from the Christian community feel such “loose” and “baseless” statements are made only to vitiate the atmosphere, reports The Wire.

Dolphy D’Souza, a former president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha told The Wire that such baseless statements are never made in the spur of the moment. “They are well thought [out] and planned exactly to vitiate the atmosphere. This has been a common thing in the present regime,” D’Souza said.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

He further pointed at the place where this statement was made. “He (Shetty) goes to a Muslim gathering and speaks of another minority community there. It is never done innocently. BJP does these things to gauge the situation and see what controversy can be raked in the name of the minorities and cause communal polarisation,” he added. D’Souza also reminded that the history of the Christian community is at least 2,000-years-old in the subcontinent.

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

Instead of taking his statements back, Shetty today went ahead standing by his statements and further added while he did not call the community “angrez”, he did believe that the community had barely any contribution to make in the struggle for freedom. “I have been misquoted. I have the video on me and I have not said anything about Christians being angrez. All I spoke was that since the British were Christians too, not many Christians participated in the freedom struggle,” Shetty told the media.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

Shetty’s party has not supported him in the statement and BJP Bombay president and MLA from Bandra West Ashish Shelar said that Shetty was asked to withdraw the statement. However, he also defended Shetty and said that the leader did not mean what he said.

Father Nigel Barrett, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bombay, wants Shetty to take some history lessons before making such unsubstantiated statements. Speaking to The Wire, Father Barrett said that the best person to recall at the time of such irresponsible statements would be Joseph “Kaka” Baptista, an Indian politician who is believed to have written the famous phrase “Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it”, which was later used by Bal Gangadhar Tilak at several occasions both in English and Marathi.

“Kaka Baptista was one of the crucial persons in the pre-independence struggles. If the minister were to start taking lessons in history, I would say he should start with him. There are several such leaders who actively played a role across India,” Father Barrett told The Wire.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

The statement has ruffled a few feathers and several people from the community have organised protests outside Shetty’s residence in Mumbai asking him to withdraw the statement. Two residents of Orlem in Malad (which has a sizeable Christian population), Gerad Lobo and Mavis Fernandes, have submitted a complaint against Shetty at the local police station. The two have demanded that a criminal case be registered against Shetty under the Indian Penal Code sections 153(a) for promoting enmity between communities and 504 for breach of peace. The police are yet to decide on the complaint.

Meanwhile, local Congress leaders have sought Shetty’s resignation and have called his statement “irresponsible” and “abusive”. “Shetty has a history of inappropriate remarks,” said Mumbai Congress leader Bhushan Patil told The Wire.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

Two years ago, Shetty had stirred trouble for his party by describing farmer suicides as “fashion”. He had claimed that all suicides do not happen because of unemployment or hunger. “It has become fashion these days. If the Maharashtra government is giving Rs 5 lakh as compensation, the other state gives Rs 7 lakh and the next Rs 8 lakh. There is competition in giving compensation to farmers,” he had said.

In another instance, Shetty had introduced a private member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking to raise the age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 if she is marrying without her parent’s consent. His rationale was that young boys and girls fall in love at 15 and 16 and get married as soon as they turn 18. This, according to him, was a “social menace”.

Source: The Wire

BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but will not withdraw statements against Christian community or apologize?

BJP parliamentarian from Maharashtra, Mumbai North constituency, Gopal Shetty on Friday withdrew his resignation by evening, after stoking a major national controversy with his comment that “Christians are angrez and hence did not contribute to the freedom struggle”.

He made the controversial remark by addressing a gathering for the Eid-e-Milad organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee in Mumbai on Sunday.

“India was not freed by Hindus…India was not freed by Muslims, we fought as one for our independence. Christians were angrez (British), so they didn’t participate in India’s freedom struggle,” he can be heard as saying in a video.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The Congress was soon to reply on the comments and demanded Mr Shetty’s resignation, calling him a repeat offender. “Shetty has a history of inappropriate remarks,” said Mumbai Congress leader Bhushan Patil.

Shetty, an MP representing Mumbai North in parliament, however, denied the criticisms, saying that his words were wrongly interpreted. He further said that he has not said anything which could subject him to an apology.

Also Read: In Pics: Mumbai Congress, Mahila Congress protest rally on Friday, against Gopal Shetty’s comments

Sharply criticizing Shetty, Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan said: “It reflects despicably communal mindset of the BJP. Freedom struggle is the epitome of sacrifices made by all communities including Christians. Shetty must know that only RSS was in support of the British.”

Condemning the “anti-minority remarks”, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam demanded that Shetty must tender “an apology to the entire Christian community of India as he has no knowledge of history or the contribution of the Christians in the independence movement”.

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

On Friday, All India Mahila Congress General Secretary Janet Desouza and Mumbai Mahila Congress President Ajanta Yadav held a protest outside Shetty’s office in Borivali West.

Two Christian residents from Orlem in Malad – Mavis Fernandes and Gerard Lobo – submitted a written complaint against Shetty to police in Malvani, demanding action against the MP for promoting enmity between communities.

Malvani Congress legislator Aslam Shaikh pointed out that though small in numbers, the Christian community contributed significantly to the freedom struggle and also in nation building.

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

As the issue snowballed, Shetty on Thursday appeared to backtrack and said it was “a miscommunication and misinterpretation”, adding that people from every religion contributed to the freedom struggle.

Going further on the defensive on Friday, Shetty said “he was a responsible person with a long political career behind him and would never think embarrassing the BJP top leadership”, hinting at submitting his resignation.

However, on Friday, BJP state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told the media that the party’s top leaders and state BJP President Raosaheb Patil-Danve have spoken with Shetty and the party stood by him.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

Agitated members of the Christian community flooded the social media with names of prominent persons who had taken an active part in the freedom struggle, stood with leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and made many sacrifices on the personal and family fronts.

They included Thevarthundiyil Titus and his wife Annamma, Accamma Cherian whom Gandhi called the ‘Jhansi ki Rani of Travancore’, Christian missionaries like Stanley Jones, C.F. Andrews, J.C. Wilson, Ernest Forrester-Paton, Ralph R. Keitahn, Varrier Elwin, John J. Cornelius, J.C. Kumarappa, Paul Ramaswamy, T.M. Verghese, A.J. John, Anne Mascarenhas, Joachim Alva and many more.

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

Earlier in the day, reports were going rounds that Shetty had submitted his resignation to BJP chief Amit Shah.

This is not the first time that Gopal Shetty has run into major trouble. Two years ago, Shetty had stirred widespread criticism by describing farmer suicides as “fashion”.

He had said: “All suicides do not happen because of unemployment or hunger. It has become fashion these days. If the Maharashtra Government is giving Rs. 5 lakh as compensation, the other state gives 7 and the next 8 lakh. There is competition in giving compensation to farmers.”

Source: India Tv

PICS: Mumbai Congress protests against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians, but unrepentant Shetty refuses to budge or apologize

A video clip of BJP MP Gopal Shetty shot by a mobile phone has gone viral on Facebook and social media, with locals insisting that it was not a slip of the tongue, as Shetty claimed (Read Here), but insisted that Shetty was deliberately and intentionally trying to create a rift between the Muslims and Christians in the area, and instigate the Muslims against the local Catholics (Read Here) who have been living in harmony with the Muslims for a very long time.

Also Read: BJP MP Gopal Shetty abuses Christians using very vulgar language, says they are useless, good for nothing…

The Mumbai Congress and the Mumbai Mahila Congress organised a protest rally on Friday afternoon, culminating at Gopal Shetty’s office. Here are images from the rally, which was escorted by a strong police force.

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (1)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: After drama, BJP MP Gopal Shetty withdraws his resignation, but refuses to withdraw his words, or apologize, Christians left fuming

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (2)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Gopal Shetty still questions role of Christian community in Freedom Struggle, says is a debatable subject, refuses to apologize

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (3)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Gopal Shetty’s comment about Christians was pre-planned, pre-mediated and well-thought off, not made on the spur of the moment

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (4)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Mumbai Christians file Police Complaint against Gopal Shetty for derogatory language against community, demand unconditional apology 

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (5)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians

Also Read: Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Congress strongly condemn BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s attack on Christians

mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (6)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians
mumbai-mahila-congress-protests-against-gopal-shettys-remarks-against-christians (7)
Mumbai Congress, Mumbai Mahila Congress workers protest against BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s remarks against Christians