‘ Cabi­net min­is­ters should speak up like SC judges’

Yash­want asks party col­leagues to ‘ speak up for democ­racy’

The Asian Age - - Nation - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT with agency in­puts

Dis­grun­tled BJP leader Yash­want Sinha on Satur­day asked his party col­leagues and min­is­ters to “get rid of their fear” and “speak up for democ­racy” like the four Supreme Court judges who came out pub­licly against the chief jus­tice.

At­tack­ing the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment, the former Union min­is­ter re­ferred to the com­ments of the four judges to claim that the pre­vail­ing at­mos­phere was like the Emer­gency in 1975- 77 and voiced con­cern over short par­lia­men­tary ses­sions. If Par­lia­ment is com­pro­mised, the Supreme Court is not in or­der, then democ­racy is threat­ened, he told re­porters.

“If four se­nior­most Supreme Court judges say democ­racy is un­der threat, we have to take their words very se­ri­ously,” he said.

“Ev­ery cit­i­zen who feels for democ­racy should speak up. I will ask party ( BJP) lead­ers and se­nior Cabi­net min­is­ters to speak up. I will ap­peal to them to get rid of their fears and speak up,” he said. How­ever, Mr Sinha in­sisted that it was for the apex court to sort out the cri­sis af­ter the four se­nior judges vir­tu­ally re­volted against the coun­try’s chief jus­tice yes­ter­day, rais­ing ques­tions on “se­lec­tive” case al­lo­ca­tion and cer­tain ju­di­cial or­ders.

Like the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia in the Supreme Court, the Prime Min­is­ter is also first among equals in the gov­ern­ment and his cabi­net col­leagues should speak up, he said.

Mr Sinha, who has been a vo­cal critic of the Modi gov­ern­ment over is­sues like de­mon­eti­sa­tion, GST and Kash­mir, claimed that he was “per­son­ally aware of the fear in which mem­bers of the cabi­net in this gov­ern­ment are work­ing, and that also is a threat to democ­racy”.

The BJP has in the past at­trib­uted Mr Sinha’s scathing crit­i­cism of the gov­ern­ment to his be­ing side­lined in the party with fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley once dub­bing him as a “job ap­pli­cant at 80”. Mr Sinha was a Cabi­net min­is­ter in the first BJPled NDA gov­ern­ment and held the fi­nance and for­eign af­fairs port­fo­lios.

While speak­ing to re­porters, Mr Sinha also re­jected sug­ges­tions that politi­cians should not wade into the ju­di­cial cri­sis, say­ing when four se­nior­most SC judges have gone pub­lic, it was no longer an in­ter­nal mat­ter of the court and it was im­per­a­tive for ev­ery con­cerned cit­i­zen to raise his voice. Po­lit­i­cal par­ties and Par­lia­ment should speak when four se­nior­most judges had spo­ken about dan­gers to democ­racy, he said.

If four se­nior­most Supreme Court judges say democ­racy is un­der threat, we have to take their words very se­ri­ously Yash­want Sinha,

BJP leader


Girls dressed in tra­di­tional at­tire dance around a bon­fire as they cel­e­brate Lohri in Jammu on Satur­day.

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