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Sanjay Joshi resigns from BJP

News4u - News Desk - NEW DELHI: After forcing Sanjay Joshi out of the BJP national executive, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Friday ensured that his bete noire is also out of the party.

BJP, whose president Nitin Gadkari and Modi joined hands at the party conclave at Mumbai a fortnight ago after Joshi’s resignation from the executive, today announced that Joshi has resigned from the party also.

Joshi, who is a former RSS pracharak and was a general secretary of BJP, has requested Gadkari that he be “relieved from the party”. This was accepted by the BJP president.

Joshi said he had quit the party due to differences with the Gujarat chief minister, of whom he has been a critic, Times Now said.

This new development comes as a shot in the arm for Modi as he did not want Joshi to have any role in the party.

Both the BJP and RSS have been divided on the manner in which Joshi had to resign from the BJP’s national executive as Modi put this as a condition for him to attend the Mumbai conclave.

Since then, the BJP and RSS mouthpieces have written for or against the two leaders. While BJP mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh and RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya hit out at Modi, another RSS mouthpiece Organiser spoke in Modi’s favour.

The matter did not end there as posters appeared in Ahmedabad and at the BJP headquarters here batting for Joshi and attacking Modi. Some posters were also put up today in Ahmedabad in support of Joshi. Joshi is now likely to work as an RSS worker and give up the responsibilities entrusted to him by the BJP, sources said. Joshi was handling the BJP’s election programme for the forthcoming local bodies polls in Uttar Pradesh.PTI

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Only the Gujarat CM has the potential to be a PM candidate:Organiser

News4u - News Desk : NEW DELHI: Days after he was supposed to have been pulled up by BJP mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh for being a man in hurry, Narendra Modi received a shot in the arm with anotherSangh Parivar publication, Organiser, saying that only the Gujarat CM has the potential to catapult the party to power single-handedly, just like Atal Bihari Vajpayee did in the 1990s.

An article in the latest issue of the RSS’ mouthpiece in English describes the controversial CM as “by far the most popular leader in the country”, who as BJP’s mascot for 2014 parliamentary polls has the ability to expand the BJP’s appeal and vote base across the country much like Atal Bihari Vajpayee did in the 1990s.

Although the write-up by psephologist GVL Narasimha Rao contrasts with the criticism in Kamal Sandesh as well as RSS’ Hindi weekly Panchajanya, sources in the Organiser said that the endorsement for the Gujarat strongman in its latest issue mirrors the official stance of the publication. “We have been consistently praising his achievements in Gujarat and the decision to publish the article should be seen in that light,” said a source.

The view is significant because BJP has shied away from spelling out its choice for PM, and because of the assessment in the political circles that the projection of Modi as the candidate for the top job is going to gain momentum and may become virtually unstoppable if he wins the assembly polls slated to be held later this year.
Will swing votes in BJP’s favour
The Organiser article takes head on all the arguments marshaled by those who feel that Modi’s projection will hurt the BJP; chiefly that tagging the hardliner as the prime ministerial candidate would further undercut its already restricted social appeal and putting off NDA allies like Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who hope to win over the Muslim vote.

Rao builds his case by saying that while there is nationwide anger against Congress, this alone cannot guarantee BJP-led NDA’s return to power at the Centre. He stresses that NDA is a major political force only in 272 of the Lok Sabha seats, leaving Left and regional parties as the likely beneficiaries of erosion in Congress’s support in the rest of the 545 Lok Sabha constituencies.

He argues that the limitation can be overcome by projecting a strong leader “whose appeal transcends state boundaries” , and who “would give BJP’s campaign a nationwide momentum and help it make substantial gains even in non-BJP strongholds”.

Citing the successes of VP Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee whose leadership galvanized the anti-Congress mood and led the party to lose even in its stronghold, the advocacy for Modi in the RSSjournal says that the Gujarat CM as the leader of BJP would benefit the party in UP, and help it win seats even in states like Odisha and Haryana.

It also joins issue with the argument that Modi’s projection will scare away allies, channeling the view of the Hindutva hardliners in BJP that finding partners will not be a problem so long as the party is seen as a winning ticket. “The number of BJP allies grew between 1996 and 1999 principally because regional parties saw an accretion in their strength owing to the incremental role that Vajpayee had delivered to them. The same would work for the BJP at the helm,” it says.

The timing of the article is also significant, coming just after RSS decided to mend its rift with the Gujarat CM by giving into his demand to remove his bete noire from BJP’s national executive. As part of the bargain, Modi has come out in the support of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, who is widely seen as the RSS appointee.Agencies

NARENDRA MODI

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SIT gives clean chit to Modi, 57 others

News4u-News Desk-A Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) gave Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi a clean chit in the post-Godhra Gulberg massacre case and sought its closure saying no evidence was found against him.

“According to SIT, no offence has been established against any of the 58 persons listed in Zakia Jafri’s complaint,” metropolitan magistrate M.S. Bhatt said in his order on Tuesday. The order came on a batch of petitions in which Jafri, widow of former Congress member of Parliament Ehsan Jafri who was among the 69 persons killed in the massacre, had alleged criminal conspiracy against Modi and 57 others.

The court ordered that a copy of the SIT report and related documents be given to Jafri within 30 days, giving her the right to pursue her private criminal complaint against Modi and others. The court will now have to decide whether to accept or reject the SIT’s closure recommendation after hearing the complainant.

Jafri had filed a complaint against Modi, his ministerial colleagues, police officers and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) functionaries, accusing them of wider conspiracy in the riots in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, had been killed.

The apex court had ordered an inquiry into the complaint filed by her and appointed the SIT headed by R.K. Raghavan to probe the matter.

Reacting to the SIT’s closure report, Jafri said she was “pained” and vowed to continue her battle for justice, while the BJP said the 2002 riots could not be used as a “bogey” to sustain the campaign against Modi.

“It is a huge disappointment as the SIT has filed a closure report, worst fears have come alive,” said Teesta Setalvad of the non-governmental organization Citizen for Justice and Peace, which is working for the riot victims.

Raghavan said the complainant will have an opportunity to contest the findings of the SIT report. “We have filed a report saying no evidence on the contents of the particular petition was available and we have recommended closure,” he said. “We have done our duty to the best of our abilities,” he said, adding that the integrity of the team could not be questioned.

Raju Ramachandran, appointed by the Supreme Court as amicus curiae (friend of the court), hoped his independent report on the SIT document will be also given to the complainant, who has a right to file a “protest petition” in court. Refusing to disclose the contents of his report, Ramachandran said he has given an “independent assessment” on the SIT report.

The SIT had submitted its report to the Supreme Court after conducting investigations into Jafri’s complaint during which it questioned several people, including Modi.

The Supreme Court, after going through the SIT report had asked Ramchandran to independently verify the SIT’s findings. He had also submitted his report to the Supreme Court. The apex court had after going through both the reports directed the SIT to submit a final report, along with the entire material collected by it to the court of the metropolitan magistrate. The SIT submitted its final report on 28 February.


Narendra Modi

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SC recalls order on Godhra riots

News4u - News Desk :The Supreme Court on Friday recalled its March 19 order seeking response of the Nanavati Commission and the Gujarat Government on a plea for direction to the panel to summon Chief Minister Narendra Modi for questioning in connection with the 2002 riots.

A bench of justices D K Jain and A K Dave on Friday said, “We are recalling our order dated March 19, 2012″ and posted the matter for fresh hearing on Monday.

The apex court passed the order after informing Senior counsel Collin Gonsalves that it had assumed that the matter related to two other petitions on the Godhra riots as it was “misled” by certain submission made before it.

On March 19, the apex court had issued notices to the commission and the state government, asking them to file their responses within four weeks.

The bench’s order had come on a petition of Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM), an NGO, seeking direction to the commission to call Modi for questioning after its plea was dismissed by the Gujarat High Court.

The NGO submitted that Modi should be summoned by the commission as the role of the chief minister falls within the ambit of the probe panel’s inquiry.

Nanavati Commission was formed in 2002 after post-Godhra train carnage riots. In 2004, the terms of reference of the commission had been expanded to include in its purview an examination of the chief minister’s role in the riots.

In September 2009, the commission had rejected JSM’s plea to summon of Modi and five others for cross-examination with regard to the communal violence in which over 1,000 people were killed.

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had earlier questioned Modi on 2002 riots for over ten hours in 2010.

In November 2009, the NGO had moved the high court for quashing of the order but a bench of Justice K S Jhaveri had dismissed its plea, terming it as “premature”.

In 2010, the JSM filed an appeal before the high court’s division bench against the single judge’s order.

The NGO had argued that summoning Modi and others was required for collecting evidence with regard to the Godhra train burning incident and the riots.

The state government had opposed the JSM’s plea contending that the NGO had no locus standi to seek summoning of Modi. It had submitted the appeal is not maintainable under law as the Commission of Inquiry Act does not allow any third party to demand for questioning of any person. It had said it is for the commission to decide whom it should call for questioning.

Narendra Modi

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Gujarat riots: Zakia Jafri to get SIT report in a month

News4u-News Desk- A trial court in Ahmedabad on Wednesday ruled that a copy of Special Investigation Report on Gulbarg Society killing will be provided to Zakia Jafri, petitioner in the case, in a month’s time.

The metropolitan magistrate MS Bhatt, however, rejected the applications of two activists including Teesta Setalvad stating that they had no locus standi in the case.

Zakia Jafri, wife of former MP Ahsan Jafri moved the trial court for copy of SIT report after it was reported in the media last week that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was given a clean chit.

39 people were killed when a violent mob attacked Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on 28th February 2002, a day after fire in Sabarmati Express at Godhra. Another 30 people were missing from the society and they were declared killed seven years later.

On petition of Zakia accusing Modi and 62 others, Supreme Court set up a Special Investigation Team in 2009 under former CBI director RK Raghvan.

The SIT reportedly filed a closure report in the trail court last week stating that there was no prosecutable evidence against Modi and the post Godhra riots were spontaneous acts.

Gujarat HC issues contempt notice to Modi govt in riots case

In fresh trouble for the Narendra Modi government, the Gujarat High Court today issued contempt notice to it for not obeying its order to compensate people whose shops were burnt down in the post-Godhra riots.

The notice comes a week after the court indicted the state government for non-restoration of religious places destroyed in the communal frenzy.

A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and C L Soni asked the Ahmedabad district collector to reply by 14th March as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated, based on a petition filed by 56 riot victims whose shops were gutted during the 2002 riots.

56 shop owners whose establishments had been burnt down in Rakhial area of the city had applied for compensation after the Centre announced additional relief package for riot victims in February 2008.

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RTI activist and Godhra riots case witness stabbed to death

News4u-News Desk- AHMEDABAD: Congress worker and witness in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, Nadeem Ahmed Sayed, was on Saturday stabbed to death by some unknown persons in Juhapura area here, police said.

The incident took place this morning when Sayed left his house around 700am, and the assailants stabbed him with sharp weapons several times and fled, they said.

According to police, Sayed was rushed to V S Hospital by his family members but was pronounced dead on arrival by the doctors.

The attackers are on the run and their identity was not yet known, police said.

The deceased was a witness in the Naroda Patiya case, where 95 persons were killed on February, 28, 2002 during the communal violence that erupted after the Godhra train burning incident.

The court where the case trial was on, had recorded Sayed’s statements a couple of months back.

Sources close to Sayed said he was also a police informer in some cases, and his murder had some connection with the clash between the slaughter house owners and police early this week where two policemen were injured and a police jeep was torched by a mob.

Police said a case has been registered against the unknown persons and further investigations was on.

Sayed was also a RTI activist and he had raised many RTI queries on the Godhra riots and related incidents.PTI

GODHRA RIOTS

GODHRA RIOTS

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No SC order on Modi, magistrate asked to decide

News4u-News Desk- In a relief to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court refused to pass any order on his alleged inaction to contain the 2002 Gujarat riots after the Godhra carnage and referred the matter to the concerned magistrate in Ahmedabad for a decision.

 

A three-judge bench headed by Justice D K Jain on Monday directed the SIT, which is probing the riot cases, to submit its final report before the magistrate who was asked to decide whether to proceed against Modi and 63 others, which includes senior government officials.

The bench made it clear that there was no need for it to further monitor the riot cases.

The bench also comprising justices P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam said in case the magistrate decides to drop proceedings against Modi and others, he has to hear the plea of slain MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia Jafri, who had filed a complaint against the Gujarat Chief Minister.

 

The court passed the order on a petition by Zakia Jafri alleging that Modi and 62 top government officials deliberately refused to take action to contain the state-wide riots, triggered by the 27th February 2002 Godhra train carnage.

 

Jafri, who lost her husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP in Gulberg Housing Society massacre during riots, had told the apex court that a proper probe should be carried out by the SIT, headed by former CBI chief R K Raghavan, into her allegations of inaction and various acts of omission and commission by Modi and others after the riots.

 

The apex court had earlier handed over the task of probing the case to SIT which submitted its report in the court.

 

After the SIT filed its probe report in a sealed cover, the court had also asked senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is assisting it as amicus curie, to analyse the SIT probe findings and file a confidential report on it.

 

Ramachandran subsequently had submitted his report to the court, which passed the order after going through the reports by SIT and Ramachandran and referred the case back to the concerned Ahmedabad magistrate to decide the further course of action in the case.

 

Ramachandran’s report filed in a sealed cover had analysed the SIT probe findings and evidence adduced by it in the case.

 

Ramachandran, assisting the bench in nine riot cases, had submitted his report on the direction of the apex court which had on 5th May sought an “independent overview” of the evidence recorded by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

 

The court had asked Ramachandran to analyse the SIT probe findings, take comments and statements of the witnesses and, if needed, interact with them for an “objective” assessment of the evidence.

 

The bench had on 28th July said it would pass the order on the basis of the report submitted by the amicus.

 

The court had also turned down the plea of the state government seeking a copy of the report and said it would be given only at the appropriate stage.

 

Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

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‘Centre weak-kneed approach encouraging terrorists’

News4u - News Desk : AHMEDABAD: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Saturday alleged that the “weak-kneed approach” of the Central government against terrorism has encouraged terrorists to strike Indiaat will.

Speaking at Sardar Patel University at Vallabh Vidhya Nagar near here Modi said, “The demon of terrorism is responsible for killing so many people in the country. Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who united the country, been alive today, innocent people would not have lost their lives.”

Modi said, “Those terrorists, whom the court had ordered to be sent to the gallows, would have been hanged by now, had Sardar Patel been alive.”

“Weak-kneed approach of today’s Central government to fight terror has provided encouragement to terrorists to strike in India at their will,” Modi said.

Modi was speaking at the inauguration of a university hall.

“People of this country want the terrorists to be dealt in a hard manner,” Modi said adding that human rights should not be granted to terrorists as they are not fit to be called human.

“Central government is very enthusiastic in brining a law for communal violence, but has no time to root out terrorism,” he added.

The Gujarat chief minister further said, “Countries across the world, including the US, have enacted tough laws and have put up a strong fight against terrorism, but India is being bombed repeatedly.”

“This is the time when people of India should take up the challenge of uprooting terrorism,” he added.  PTI

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Modi ducks questions on becoming PM

News4u - News Desk : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is at times projected as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, today ducked questions on whether he wanted to occupy the top post. “I have still a lot to do in Gujarat. Let me do what I want in Gujarat and complete the work initiated,” said Modi when asked about his aspirations and priorities on becoming the prime minister during an interaction with members of the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) here. Many BJP leaders in the past have projected Modi as the party’s future prime ministerial candidate. Refusing to respond directly to a question on giving tips to the Centre on how to tackle corruption, as Gujarat had to emerge as a “corruption-free and scam-free” state, Modi merely said, “I am happy that Gujarat was viewed in India like this”. He said, “One can serve the country well, while remaining free from sins. This can be done in a good manner and positive results can also be achieved by doing so.” This, he said, was not merely an advice. “I am saying this after having Gujarat’s experience. I am confident we can do this all over India and help make it corruption-free,” while referring to the opening remarks of “Gujarat being corruption-free” in an article in ‘Economist’ magazine. On being asked which of the personalities in history had influenced him most in life, Modi said, “I do not easily get influenced. But, I do get inspired.” However, the BJP leader said Swami Vivekananda had inspired him the most and he was looking forward to celebrating his 150th birth anniversary this year. PTI

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Modi criticises PM’s statement on Hazare’s fast

News4u-News Desk- Golakganj (Assam), Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today claimed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on social activist Anna Hazare’s fast had created an emergency like situation similar to that in 1975.

“Hazare’s fast against corruption was being supported by people from all sections of the society but the Prime Minister refuses to accept the issue and was making irresponsible statement creating an emergency-like situation,” Modi told a BJP poll rally here bordering Bangladesh.

Singh’s statement that the social activist was fasting under the influence of some persons and vested interests “was not only insulting to Hazare but also to the nation as a whole”, the Chief Minister said.

“The Prime Minister cannot doubt his honest intention and the Centre should not consider him its enemy but accept the fact that corruption has assumed alarming proportions,” Modi said.

Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

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