BJP drops de-mon from cam­paign

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - AMIT AG­NI­HOTRI @ New Delhi

From catch­word to dirty word, note­bandi, or de­mon­eti­sa­tion, ap­pears to have been un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously dropped from the BJP’s lex­i­con. This is ap­par­ent from the re­cent state­ments by the party’s me­dia man­agers and its star elec­tion cam­paign­ers, PM Naren­dra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.

RAHUL Gandhi on Saturday, hit out at the BJP cit­ing a me­dia re­port which al­leged a “prospect of con­flict of in­ter­est” in na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Ajit Do­val’s son Shau­rya’s think-tank ‘In­dia Foun­da­tion’ that has some se­nior BJP min­is­ters as its di­rec­tors.

“Af­ter the huge suc­cess of Shah-Zada, a new of­fer­ing by the BJP — Ajit Shau­rya Saga,” Rahul tweeted.

Shah-zada refers to Jay Shah, the son of BJP chief Amit Shah, whose enor­mous prof­its had been slammed by the Congress vice pres­i­dent ear­lier.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, de­fence minister Nir­mala Sithara­man, com­merce minister Suresh Prabhu, minister of state for ex­ter­nal af­fairs MJ Ak­bar and minister of state for avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha serve as di­rec­tors in the think tank In­dia Foun­da­tion run by Shau­rya Do­val.

“Has any cabi­net minister ever served in an NGO in In­dia’s his­tory. Why is the PM silent? He should sack the four min­is­ters,” Congress spokesper­son and for­mer union minister Kapil Sibal said, adding that Prasar Bharti chair­man Surya Prakash and BJP leader Ram Mad­hav were also work­ing for the NGO.

He said if a sim­i­lar charge had sur­faced dur­ing the UPA rule, de­mands for reg­is­ter­ing an FIR would have come and the par­lia­ment would have been dis­rupted.

Terming four BJP min­is­ters serv­ing In­dia Foun­da­tion as a di­rect case of con­flict of in­ter­est, Sibal cited the ex­am­ple of So­nia Gandhi, who re­signed as chair­per­son of the na­tional ad­vi­sory coun­cil and got her­self re-elected when the then main op­po­si­tion BJP had raised the of­fice of profit is­sue.

“Ram Mad­hav is a BJP of­fice bearer, a party gen­eral sec­re­tary. He can’t be a di­rec­tor in the NGO. The min­is­ters can’t be in the NGO. They do not know the law. It will re­sult in pros­e­cu­tion and im­pris­on­ment,” said Sibal.

The for­mer Union law minister ques­tioned the fund­ing of the NGO say­ing big in­ter­na­tional and na­tional com­pa­nies spon­sored the events or­gan­ised by the In­dia Foun­da­tion.

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