Rahul says Kejri trying to disturb peace in Punjab Parents of ‘ugly’ girls pay dowry, says HSC textbook PAST ERRORS
CAMPAIGNING ENDS Delhi CM hits back; Punjab and Goa go to polls tomorrow
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal of allegedly helping “forces” seeking to push Punjab back into militancy, prompting a sharp retort from the Delhi chief minister in a high-voltage end to campaigning in the state.
Voting will be held on February 4 for 117 assembly seats in the state, once the country’s food bowl but reeling under growing unemployment and drug abuse among its youth.
The ruling SAD-BJP alliance is battling anti-incumbancy after ten years in power and is expected to face a tough fight from a rejuvenated Congress led by former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Analysts have warned against writing off Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is looking to expand its footprints beyond Delhi.
Campaigning was marred by the death of six people in an explosion, believed to a car bomb, at Maur in Bathinda on Tuesday and the killing of a right-wing Hindu leader in Ludhiana on January 14.
“(A) bomb blast took place and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi talks to villagers during an election rally in Sangrur on Thursday.
six people died. Arvind Kejriwal… is helping these forces and helping them raise their head. And this is most dangerous thing for Punjab,” Gandhi said at Lambi, the constituency of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who will face Amarinder Singh in the polls.
“If these forces raise their head again, then entire agenda will be hijacked and Punjab will look in some other direction,” Gandhi said, referring to the armed Khalistan movement of the eighties that had left hundreds of people dead.
In a series of public rallies in the politically crucial Malwa belt, the Congress leader also attacked the ruling Badal family, shortly after sharing lunch with residents of a Sangrur village.
After embarrassing gaffes in history and geography textbooks — Arunachal Pradesh was shown to be a part of China — the Maharashtra state education board has once again courted controversy. This time, it is for a Class 12 sociology textbook that lists “ugliness of the girl” as one of the reasons for a major social problem in the country — dowry.
Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde, however, brushed off the controversy by saying he would review the situation, but such terms aren’t wrong and shouldn’t be taken ‘out-of-context’.
A particularly insensitive paragraph from chapter 3 of the book reads: “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry her, the girl’s bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. The helpless parents of such girls are then forced to pay up…”
In the second such case this year, a Navi Mumbai resident has petitioned the Supreme Court to allow her to abort an abnormal foetus after the legal deadline of 20 weeks.
The 22-year-old housewife from Vashi has told the court that the foetus has an abnormality that gives it little or no chance to survive after birth.
The petitioner’s counsel Sneha Mukherjee mentioned the case on Thursday before a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar and pressed for an early hearing. The case will come up on Friday. The petitioner has taken legal recourse because the law does not allow termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks.
However, in this case, the 23-week-old foetus does not have kidneys.
Dr Nikhil Datar, the petitioner’s doctor, said the foetus was diagnosed with a condition known as bilateral renal agenesis (absence of both kidneys) in the 21st week of pregnancy. “She was following up regularly, but missed one specific ultrasound scan. The condition was diagnosed after 20 weeks and the parents wanted to terminate the pregnancy. Hence I advised the legal recourse,” said Datar, who has been assisting parents with technical and medical guidance for termination of pregnancy after the 20-week cut off period.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, allows abortion only up to 20 weeks of gestation.