BJP will be wiped out in 2019; won’t allow NRC in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

KOLKATA: Launching a scathing attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Centre, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise will not be allowed in the state. She added that the BJP will be wiped out in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“We will not allow NRC exercise in Bengal. They (BJP leaders) are challenging us. If we are challenged, we will give them a fitting reply,” she said.

Referring to the recent panchayat polls in the state, she alleged that the party is resorting to politics of killing in the state.

“The BJP won just a few seats in erstwhile Maoist hotbed of Jangalmahal by resorting to politics of killing. The former CPI(M) goons are now working for them,” she said at a rally here on the occasion of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (students’ wing) foundation day.

The chief minister also said that she would not “tolerate” if a citizen is wrongfully tagged a foreigner here.

“We are Bengal tigers, we will not tolerate if an Indian citizen is dubbed a foreigner,” she asserted.

Banerjee has been a vocal critic on Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, calling it an attempt to isolate Bengalis, Biharis and Hindus out of the state.

“West Bengal will suffer because of this. There will be huge ramifications of this (Assam NRC). Where will these 40 lakh displaced persons stay? Bangladesh won’t take them back,” Banerjee had said after the release of the historic Assam NRC document, that had names of 40.07 lakh applicants missing.

Source: Zee News

Ashamed? Then take immediate action: Rahul Gandhi to Nitish Kumar on Muzaffarpur sex scandal

New Delhi: It took a number of days for Nitish Kumar to break his silence on the alleged sexual assault of 34 women in a Muzzafarpur shelter home that has enraged the entire country, reports Zee News.

When he did speak – on Friday, the Bihar CM said he is ashamed of the incident. It is this admission that rival parties have clung to with Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying that if Nitish Kumar meant what he said, he must act immediately.

Rahul on Saturday was at a Rashtriya Janata Dal-led sit-in protest where he said the state CM should take stern action against those guilty.

“We have gathered here for the women of our country and we stand with them. If Nitish ji is really feeling ashamed then he should take immediate action,” he demanded.

Beside him was RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav who has already accused Nitish of trying to shield Brajesh Thakur, the owner of the shelter home who is believed to be politically influential.

Thakur is the prime accused in Muzaffarpur shelter home case. At least 34 girls were allegedly sexually assaulted at the shelter home.

He has also been named in a case pertaining to another shelter home run by him. Eleven women have reportedly gone missing from the shelter home.

Rival parties have been targetting the JDU-BJP combine in Bihar for being lenient on crime and of not taking action in the particular case of Muzzafarpur sex scandal.

Saturday’s protest was attended by – among others – Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, LJD’s Sharad Yadav and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Source: Zee News

Goa Archbishop: Constitution in danger, human rights trampled in the name of development in India

Two weeks after Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto’s remarks on the “turbulent political atmosphere” created a row, his Goa counterpart has said the Constitution was in danger while alleging that human rights were being trampled in the name of development. Urging Catholics to play an active role in politics, Goa’s Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, in his annual pastoral letter, said the community should work hard towards protecting the Constitution, more so because the 2019 general elections were around the corner.

“Today, our Constitution is in danger, (it is a) reason why most of the people live in insecurity. In this context, particularly as the general elections are fast approaching, we must strive to know our Constitution better and work harder to protect it,” IANS quoted Ferrao as saying in the pastoral letter for 2018-19, which was formally released on Sunday. Catholics account for 26 per cent of Goa’s population and wield significant influence.

Alleging that a new trend of mono-culturism was emerging in the country, the archbishop said, “In recent times, we see a new trend emerging in our country, which demands uniformity in what and how we ear, dress, live and even worship. Human rights are under attack and democracy appears to be in peril.”

Ferrao further said minorities were living in fear while development was being used as a ruse to uproot people from their land. “The various minorities fear for their safety. People are being uprooted from their land and homes in the name of development. The first victim of development is the poor person. It is easier to trample upon the rights of the poor because those who will raise their voice for them are very few,” he said.

It may be recalled that a similar remark was made by Cardinal Oswal Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), last month. Gracias had said there was “growing anxiety” among minority communities “because the government is not acting enough” to protect them.

Urging the Catholics to shun “sycophantic” politics and help strengthen democracy, the letter said, “It is advisable that the faithful play an active role in the political field; they should, however, follow the dictates of their conscience while doing so and shun ‘sycophantic’ politics. They should thus strengthen democracy and, on the other hand, help to improve the functioning of the state administration.”

While many saw Delhi Archbishop Couto’s remarks aimed at the BJP government, even though he denied targeting any particular political party, it leaves little to imagination Ferrao’s letter was directed at whom. Criticising Couto, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said there was “no discrimination against anyone”, while BJP president Amit Shah said “polarising people in the name of religion” was “not appropriate”, even as opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury backed the Delhi archbishop.

Source: Indian Express (IANS)