Mandrem By-polls: Parsekar’s Supporters Want Him To Contest By-polls on Congress Ticket, Defeat Sopte and Teach Tendulkar a Lesson

PANAJI: Several supporters of former Goa CM and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar want their leader to contest the Mandrem by-polls on a Congress ticket only to teach the local State BJP a ‘good lesson’.

IndiaScoops.com spoke to nearly 30-40 of Parsekar’s supporters who were very vocal on the subject. “We must teach the local BJP leadership a lesson. They have treated us like dirt, in spite of the fact we have worked for the party for the last several years, with many of them being associated with the party for more than 10 years. If Sopte can leave Congress, Parsekar can join Congress, only to defeat Sopte,” they said.

Also Read: Former Goa CM and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar may quit BJP, join Congress?

Parsekar’s personal supporters numbering about 800-1000 said they would do as their leader does. “If Parsekar joins the Congress, we will also join along with him. He has been our leader and he is a hard-working and dedicated person. We will stand by him and do as he says, even if it means working for the Congress during the by-polls,” they told IndiaScoops.com.

Political watchers said the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) leader and former Goa RSS head Subhash Velingkar is also wooing Parsekar and has offered him a GSM ticket. However, the Congress seems to stand a better chance in Mandrem and Parsekar wants to win at any cost against Sopte. (Read Here)

However, local Mandrem Congress leaders were not sure about inducting Parsekar. “Once he wins on a Congress ticket, he may re-join the BJP later on just like Sopte. This musical chairs must stop. We need a local, but loyal Congress leader who will stand by the party and the people of Mandrem, who vote for him, through thick and thin,” they opined.

As hectic parleys in Mandrem picked up steam, the NavHind Times reported that Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar met former chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday triggering speculations and setting tongues wagging.

Parsekar on Sunday said that he, as a political figure maintains good relationship with the local leaders of all the political parties, and therefore, has no reservations about interacting with them.

Parsekar, when asked about his meeting with Chodankar, earlier this week, told ‘The Navhind Times’ that members of other political parties are his political rivals, and he has never treated them as his political enemies. “I am opposed to them, but till a certain point,” he said, observing that he has never thought of political vendetta against his political rivals.

Sources, however, informed that the Parsekar-Chodankar meeting had the GPCC president discussing the Mandrem by-election with the senior BJP leader, in the light of the recent induction of former Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte into BJP.

The sources also stated that Chodankar told Parsekar about the willingness of Congress to give candidature to Parsekar, if he intends to contest the forthcoming bypoll from Mandrem constituency.

Sopte has already told his supporters that he has joined the BJP after receiving an assurance that he would be the BJP candidate for the Mandrem by-election.

It is learnt that Chodankar also told Parsekar that if he (Parsekar) has no interest in contesting the Mandrem bypoll on Congress ticket, then he could support the Congress candidate in the Mandrem constituency.

“Today the political scenario in Goa is volatile and in such a situation, it is natural that many people are calling me up or interacting with me,” Parsekar said, mentioning that although he is open for interaction, no one should presume things based on these interactions.

Speaking further, Parsekar said that BJP national president Amit Shah is being fed with lies by the Goa unit of the party, and therefore, Shah should now give a patient hearing to the other side that is the existing truth.

“The national joint general secretary (organisation) of BJP B L Santhosh, Goa desk in-charge of the party Avinash Rai Khanna and state general secretary (organisation) of BJP Vijay Puranik should be consulted by Shah to understand the party-related ground realities in Goa,” he added, pointing out, “If the information from Santhosh, Khanna and Puranik is found to be “inadequate”, then I am there and always available.” “Politics of power is not everything and all that we (senior BJP leaders in Goa) had done in the past is now being sadly undone,” Parsekar stated, maintaining that concurring to any kind of compromises just to stay in power is not the culture of BJP.

“It should also be understood that in a democratic setup, one who is in power today is someday bound to be in the opposition,” he noted. On a parting note, Parsekar admitted that his party formed the government in Goa in haste, after the 2017 state assembly election.

“That mistake forced the party to make more mistakes and it went on,” he added. Chodankar, meanwhile, has neither denied nor confirmed about meeting Parsekar.

“Well, I am meeting people and will continue to do so to ensure that Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar are defeated,” Chodankar said.

When questioned again, he said, “People of Goa want that both the ex-Congress MLAs should be defeated. I am ready to go the extra mile and meet people who have similar views and join hands with them to root out Sopte and Shirodkar from Mandrem and Shiroda, respectively.”

All India Congress Committee secretary in-charge of Goa A Chellakumar said that he was unaware of any meeting between the local Congress leadership and Parsekar.

He said that Congress would field its own candidate in the by-elections.

“We have aspirants and it will be only Congressmen who would contest on Congress ticket in both the constituencies,” he said. Congress Legislature

Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.

Sources in the Congress party said that during a recent meeting of the party workers from Mandrem held in Panaji in the presence of Chellakumar and Chodankar, the workers had in one voice demanded that the party give ticket to a Congressman from Mandrem.

The party workers had suggested to the party to avoid giving ticket to ‘imported’ individuals.

With inputs from NavHind Times

NY Times takes up ‘Fishy’ Rafale deal, says Modi’s image as incorruptible destroyed, predicts a “tough one” for Modi in 2019 polls

The article, titled “With ‘Fishy’ Jet Deal, India’s Opposition Finally Lands a Blow on Modi, says that the deal has caused a great deal of damage to Modi’s incorruptible image.

America’s top newspaper The New York Times has called the Rafale deal “fishy” in a recently published article.Stating that the deal has finally given a chance to the main opposition party, the Congress, to land a blow on PM Modi, the newspaper said that for the first time in last four years, the opposition parties have been able to “build a damaging narrative and land a solid punch” on Modi.

“For several years, Indian politics have been dominated by Mr Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, which has grown accustomed to pushing around its rivals,” said the article, published on October 6.It added, “But for the first time in a long time, the opposition, by building a damaging narrative around this arms deal, has landed a solid punch, and is hoping to keep the pressure on Mr Modi and his party ahead of next year’s general election.”

Taking note of accusations being leveled by Congress, the article went on to say, “Congress Party officials have dominated headlines and social media with their accusations that Mr. Modi inflated the price of the aircraft, estimated to cost $8.7 billion, and brought in a trusted ally on the deal so his political party could get something back in return.”

The article, titled “With ‘Fishy’ Jet Deal, India’s Opposition Finally Lands a Blow on Modi, further says that the deal has caused a great deal of damage to Modi’s uncorruptible image. Quoting Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill, the newspaper termed the deal as “fishy.”

Hailing the Rafale deal “a new spring in the step” for the Congress, the newspaper predicted that the Lok Sabha election in 2019 is going to be a tough one for Modi.

Source: National Herald

 

BJP’s Hindutva, concern about Hindus fake, Ram Mandir only a Castle in the Air, Cows safe, but Women and Dalits are not: Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai (PTI): Taking a dig at the BJP-led government over incidents of mob lynching, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Monday said cows were safer than women and dalits in the country.

“We are a part of the government but if something is wrong, we will definitely talk about it. We are friends of the Bharatiya Janata, not of any party,” Thackeray said, taking a dig at Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) name.

Shiv Sena is BJP’s alliance partner in Maharashtra and the Centre. On incidents of mob lynching in the country, the Shiv Sena chief said BJP’s idea of Hindutva was fake, and criticised the government for failing to check cow vigilantism.

“In this country, cows are safe but women are not,” he said in an interview to Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“In the name of saving the cow, if you are shifting focus to whether someone is eating beef or not, then it is a sham. This is not Hindutva. I do not accept the idea of Hindutva that is being adhered to in the country. Our women are unsafe and you are protecting cows,” Thackeray said.

“We (Shiv Sena) never said cows should be slaughtered. But while protecting cows, India has become the most unsafe country for women. One should be ashamed of it. “You want to save ‘gau-mata’ (cow) but what about ‘mata’ (mother),” he said. Targeting the BJP over the debate on nationalism, Thackeray said the BJP had no right to decide who was a nationalist and anti-national.

“Anyone criticising the government does not become anti-national. Members of Parliament are representatives of people and have the right to raise questions,” he said.

Thackeray said his party has opposed only those decisions which appeared not to be protecting the interests of the poor. “I criticize the government if it is taking any wrong steps. I cannot take the appeasement route to woo them (BJP).

The previous (UPA) regime was defeated by people and there were big expectations from this NDA government. But this government is also functioning like the previous one,” he added.

At a recent function, Thackeray also rubbished claims about the BJP government’s sincerity about constructing the Ram Mandir temple at Ayodhya or finding a mutually acceptable solution to the issue. The BJP only remembers Ram Mandir six months before the elections and uses it as a poll stunt, Thackeray was quoted as saying.

They can construct a gigantic party office, the biggest in the world as they claim, but the Ram Mandir issue will never be sorted out by the BJP, Thackeray blasted.

Source: PTI

BJP leader Gopal Shetty’s resignation was a publicity stunt and diversive tactic, MP never put in his papers at all!

When BJP MP from the Mumbai North constituency Gopal Shetty was caught with his foot in his mouth, after calling Christians ‘angrez’ who never participated in the Freedom Struggle and sided with the British, a national media uproar took the wind out of Shetty’s sails.

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

However fueled by his ego and arrogance, Shetty did not apologize to the Christian community claiming that ‘it was his personal opinion or viewpoint and the role of Christians was anyway debatable’ and he was ready to resign as his ‘freedom of expression was more important to him, than any post or position in the party’.

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

Shetty’s offer to resign was the oldest trick in the politicians’ guidebook. The media diverted its attention from the core issue to Shetty’s resignation. However, Shetty did just the opposite. Besides, speaking to news agency ANI and one or two others, after Shetty’s resignation news went viral, he sat tight and refused to take further calls from the media.

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

He had not put in his papers till late in the night on Friday, with sources saying that the party leadership has asked him to reconsider his decision. Shetty had no intention to resign at all. He only diverted media glare from the main issue which was insulting the Christian community.

MP Gopal Shetty, who is facing flak for raising questions about participation of the Christian community in India’s freedom struggle, on Friday offered to tender his resignation to state party president Raosaheb Danve. But he had not put in his papers till late in the night, reports Mumbai Mirror.

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

Hours after Mirror reported that the senior BJP leader has embarrassed his party by claiming that Indian Christians had no role to play in the freedom movement, Shetty told reporters, “My statement was taken out of context. If I don’t have the freedom to express my thoughts, then I don’t want to put my party in an embarrassing situation. Therefore, I have offered to resign.”

Shetty had made the statement while addressing a gathering during the Eid-E-Milad organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad on Sunday. A video of his speech has since gone viral.

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

On Friday, the Congress, AAP and other political parties, social activists and Christian organisations demanded an unconditional apology from the MP.

AAP’s Maharashtra unit even filed a complaint against Shetty with the state minority commission. Abrham Mathai, president of Indian Christian Voice and former vice-chairman of minority commission, also took umbrage at Shetty for failing to appreciate the Indian Christians’ role during the freedom struggle, reports Mumbai Mirror.

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

“During the freedom struggle, despite their small population, Indian Christians rose to the occasion to demand ‘swaraj’ for our country. Shetty is totally ignorant of history and seems to be deliberately distorting proven historical facts to suit his agenda,” Mathai said.

In a terse response to Shetty’s remarks, Shaila Baptista, great grandniece of Joseph Kaka Baptista, who was a close associate of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, told Mirror that politicians should be made accountable for making such frivolous statements.

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

“Over the past few years, an atmosphere of animosity and hatred is being created against minorities. We feel we are unwanted in our own country,” said Shaila, who lives with her family in Navi Mumbai.

Shetty issued another statement on Saturday to defend himself and his statements:

gopal-shetty-christians-angrez-statement

with inputs from Mumbai Mirror

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

In spite of a national uproar, BJP MP Gopal Shetty still questions the role of Christians in the Indian Freedom Struggle, says it’s a debatable topic and refuses to apologize or withdraw earlier statements

IndiaScoops.com Bureau | Mumbai, Jul 6: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gopal Shetty who is known for his controversial remarks in the past, tendered his resignation on Friday after he stirred a controversy calling Christians ‘angrez’ who have not contributed to the freedom struggle. The incident occurred on Sunday July 1 at Malwani in suburban Mumbai.

The MP from Mumbai North Gopal Shetty is heard saying in a video clip, which has gone viral: “Christians were British; hence they didn’t participate in the freedom movement. India was not freed by Hindus or Muslims, we fought as one, as Hindustanis for our independence.”

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

Shetty defended his statements, and at first said he was misinterpreted. On Tuesday and Wednesday, as the news broke out in the local media, Shetty initially tried to say he was misquoted and misrepresented and his comments were twisted or reported out of context. Possibly Shetty and his advisers did not themselves understand or realize the meaning and magnitude of his statements. Or it was a subtle and clever trick, with Shetty trying to appease one community in the sensitive Malwani area.

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

But as his recorded speech video clip went viral nationally on Friday and mainline Tv news channels began playing the video clip, Shetty did a U-turn. His party bosses did not bat for him and a dejected Shetty came to understand what he said and what was being interrupted. He then claimed he had not said something that required him to apologize. He told media that the fact is that people from every religion contributed for Indian freedom. However, he expressed unhappiness that his party did not stand by him.

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

Amidst rising national outrage, Shetty said he stood by his comments. “I just said Catholics may not be in freedom struggle because it was the British rule.” “I have my freedom of expression and this statement can be debated if needed. I have offered my resignation from MP post to Maharashtra BJP president and now it is up to the party. I do not want to embarrass my party,” added Shetty. 

Catholics in Mumbai who have a sizable presence  in various sectors in the city, including Education, IT services, Banking & Finance and Media have not taken kindly to Shetty’s utterances. “We are Indians first and foremost. Shetty called us ‘Angrez’ or British in a derogatory way. He said since we were British, we did not participate in the Freedom Struggle. Doesn’t he understand what he was saying. Either he is playing dumb or trying to be very clever. All he had to do is say sorry, but he has refused to apologize. In spite of a national uproar and condemnation from his own party colleagues, he has added fuel to fire, by stating that the Christian contribution to the Freedom Struggle is a debatable topic. We are clear about our demands -we want an unconditional apology, or else we will take this matter to it’s legal conclusion. Shetty as an MP is expected to be a very responsible man. His constituency which comprises of Malad, Orlem, Borivili, Poisar, etc., has a sizable well-educated Christian population and the community’s contribution to the education sector is clearly evident by the several Church and convent schools in Shetty’s constituency,” said Gerard Lobo, who first submitted a written complaint to the Malwani Police Station.

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

Shetty had made the controversial statement while addressing a gathering during the Eid-E-Milad program organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad in Mumbai on Sunday, July 1.

The Mumbai Congress hit back at the MP on Wednesday. “It’s clear BJP MP is not aware of history, or is purposely trying to create discord among members of one community with such communally sensitive utterances,” the Mumbai Congress tweeted.

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

The Telangana Congress also took a dig at the BJP. “Official written orders were passed by the heads of RSS & Hindu Mahasabha asking their cadre not to participate in Indian Freedom Struggle & this is “BJP” History !!” the INC Telangana tweeted.

Mumbai BJP President and MLA from Bandra West Ashish Shelar told media that BJP does not support such statements and supports the Christian community. “Though the MP did not mean what he said, he has been asked to withdraw the statement,” Shelar added.

Two years ago, Shetty had stirred trouble for his party by describing farmer suicides as a “fashion”.

Elections 2019: In a run up to polls, BJP to spend over Rs 12,000 crore on Social Media, Ads and Digital PR in the next 12 months

BY PRANAV GHOSH | Mumbai | 26th May 2018: According to informed sources, media planners, social media experts, advertising industry professionals and election strategists, the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will spend over Rs 12,000 crore in the next 12 months in a massive build-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

IndiaScoops.com spoke to nearly 150 experts from various fields in India and abroad to arrive at these figures and the real picture is still more shocking. Of this figure, 50 per cent of the above amount of Rs 12,000 crore will be spent 3-4 months before the elections.

About 60 per cent of the total amount, or Rs 8000 crore is expected to be in black money or will be spent indirectly – not by the party – but by its well-wishers, party supporters and sympathizers and industrialists close to the BJP in a proxy digital war that has almost begun on social media.

Experts claim that about Rs 4-5000 crore will be paid abroad, from party supporters in the US, UK and Europe, but online campaigns will be directed at audiences and viewers in India.

A pro-BJP group in the US is creating about 500 new Facebook pages, 1000 Twitter accounts and about a 200-odd “news” websites, to peddle BJP  fare and propaganda to the masses which will targeted and directed at Indian viewers. Another similar group based in Canada is working in the same direction.

The BJP and its arms will employ about 7 lakh professionals pan-India to run its online campaigns, social media promotions and other related work like online poster and artwork design, etc., over the next 12 months. In the two months prior to the election, at least 10 lakh professionals will be employed full-time all over India in a massive digital war. An additional 20 lakh free-lancers and party workers will support this 7 lakh-plus digital army throughout the year.

Also Read: BJP hires more than 5000 IT professionals for final Karnataka Election salvo

2014 Figures

According to an article published in the Hindustan Times dated 20th April 2014, Media buyers and sources close to the BJP’s campaign said the party could end up spending about Rs 5,000 crore by May 12,2014, when the last phase of polling takes place. Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World, which is handling the BJP’s media planning, refused to say anything beyond “we are moving as per the approved plan”. This was in 2014, when the Modi wave was at its peak. This time in 2019, the BJP is much richer, much stronger and more desperate to win and will go all out to ensure a resounding majority like it got in 2014.

But a veteran media planner, who is working closely with the BJP, told HT on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media: “Planned spends on all media, including print, television, outdoor, internet and radio would be close to Rs 4,500 crore. The party has set aside an additional Rs 500 crore, which will be used, based on need, to beef up the campaign in critical constituencies and states in the last few days of campaigning.” This is on record and the figures quoted are from industry experts. It does not include the local spend by MPs and their supporters as well as third party sympathizers and “well-wishers”.

According to an article in The Hindu dated 19th April 2014, Anand Sharma, former Union Commerce Minister in UPA 2,  was quoted as saying, “The use of money and resources by the BJP in these elections is unprecedented. At least Rs. 10,000 crore is being spent by the party to project only one person.

On TV, the BJP bought about 2,000 spots a day across Hindi, English and regional news, general entertainment and sports channels. A spot in most popular entertainment channels cost about Rs 80,000 per 30 seconds. The budget: Rs 800-1,000 crore. It spent another Rs 150 crore during the T20 World Cup. The online and radio budget is about Rs 35 crore, the same HT article dated 20th April 2014 had claimed. Asked to comment on its ad budget, a senior BJP leader said, “The expenditure would be about Rs 700-750 crore.”

“The BJP’s spending is at least four times that of the Congress,” said Santosh Sood, former COO, Rediffusion Y&R, a media buying agency. This time in 2019, it is expected to be 6 to 8 times that of the Congress, senior politicians claim.

Government & Election Commission Spending in 2014

According to a PTI report dated 16th March 2014, the projected expenditure to elect the 16th Lok Sabha is set to rival the USD seven billion (approximately Rs. 42,000 crore) spent by candidates and parties in the 2012 US presidential elections.

A study carried out by Centre for Media Studies on poll spendings says “unaccounted for” money pumped in by “crorepati” candidates, corporates and contractors has pushed up the expenditure to elect 543 MPs.

Out of the estimated Rs. 30,000 crore, the exchequer will spend Rs. 7000 to Rs. 8000 crore to hold the electoral exercise for the 16th Lok Sabha.

While the Election Commission is likely to spend around Rs. 3,500 crore, the Union Home Ministry, Indian Railways, various other government agencies and state governments will spend a similar amount to put in place means to ensure free and fair poll. In 2019, the figure is likely to go up by at least 25 per cent.

According to an article in FirstPost dated 5th March 2014,  BJP and Congress are planning to spend Rs 400-500 crore on an ad blitz, and the parties organisations could end up spending another Rs 500-1,000  crore for other forms of campaign-related expenses – banners, hoardings, organisation of public meetings, transport of key campaigners by helicopter or chartered flights, etc. Assuming the smaller regional parties together spend as much as the Congress and BJP put together, we are talking of total party spends in the region of Rs 2,000-4,000 crore.

Add the candidate spends,  and general election 2014 will cost anywhere from Rs 10,145 crore to Rs 17,000 crore for the parties. Add the Election Commission’s own expenses and the cost of deploying forces to ensure a free and fair poll, we should be looking at a total democracy cost of anywhere from Rs 11,000-18,000. In 2019, experts estimate the total expenses of Lok Sabha 2019 to be in the range of Rs 30,000 crore.

Modi Govt Ad Spend in 3.5 Years

The Modi government spent a whopping Rs 3,755 crore on its publicity in three-and-a-half years till October this year, a reply to an RTI query has revealed recently.

The expenditure on advertisements from April 2014 to October 2017 on electronic and print media and outdoor publicity is Rs 37,54,06,23,616, according to the reply given by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Again these are official figures. The unofficial figures including monies spent by well-wishers and party friends is almost double this amount.

Fraudster Nirav Modi’s Friends Contribute Nearly Rs 100 Cr for BJP Karnataka Poll Campaign

The BJP has received nearly Rs 100 crore in funds for the Karnataka poll campaign from Nirav Modi’s friends, (Read Here) who are still in regular touch with the BJP top brass in Delhi.

Several top BJP leaders are in  constant and regular touch with Nirav Modi’s diamond industry friends both in India and abroad, who started a ‘donation drive’ for the BJP party to support its Karnataka campaign and have collected over Rs 100 crore in the last 3 months. (Read Here).  Most these funds are being used to fund the BJP’s online and social media campaigns targeted at the  Karnataka polls.

The payments are being made to Facebook and Twitter from bank accounts abroad and the money does not even come to India. The Election Commission of India has no access to these financial details, most of them are funded from secret tax havens. Sources privy to these secret deals claim that nearly Rs 100 crore has been pumped into the system from abroad, or directly paid to entities abroad to run online and social media campaigns in favor of the BJP and support its Karnataka campaign efforts.

Do you know why scammer Nirav Modi and some of his other scamster friends will never be arrested or cases against him never pursued aggressively by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Center? The answer is very simple!

Nirav Modi was and still is one of the BJP party’s main fund raisers. He directly and indirectly contributed Rs 250 crore to the BJP coffers over the last 4 years, since January 2014 and helped fund the BJP poll campaign blitz in 2014 that saw the party come to a landslide victory. Unofficial sources claim that Nirav Modi and his cronies contributed over Rs 300 crore in all to the BJP and still continue to fund the BJP’s poll campaigns across the country.

According to one senior politician, “The BJP’s National IT cell which boasts of over 2000 full-time IT professionals is funded by Nirav Modi’s gang of scamsters who have defrauded several banks and collectively siphoned off over Rs 30,000 crore over the last 3-4 years.”

It may be recalled that the Shiv Sena party has attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rs 11,300-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. The Sena in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana had alleged that Nirav Modi, who is at the centre of the scandal, had been a ‘partner’ of the BJP and helped it collect funds for elections.

Senior Sena leaders who spoke to IndiaScoops.com in Mumbai claimed that Nirav Modi directly and indirectly contributed Rs 250 crore to the BJP coffers over the last 4 years, since January 2014 and helped fund the BJP poll campaign blitz in 2014 that saw the party come to a landslide victory. Sena leaders were openly critical of the Prime Minister and his handling of the economy, stating that the big con men have got away easily, but the poor are burdened with taxes and levies.

Sena leaders took pains to point out that Nirav Modi along with about 5-6 other businessmen were instrumental in bankrolling the BJP party since 2014, since the party projected Narendra Modi as the PM candidate and launched a multi-crore media campaign. Modi was the one who struck the deal with these 5-6 businessmen and top industrialists including Adani, Ambani and others to fund the BJP campaign, promising them massive sops if he became the PM, claimed Sena leaders in Mumbai.