11:38 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Bihar CM Manjhi calls cabinet meet, supporters protest

75 Viewed Alka Anand Singh Comments Off on Bihar CM Manjhi calls cabinet meet, supporters protest
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Mr. Manjhi had earlier called the party legislature meeting as “unauthorized and unconstitutional” and had summoned a separate meeting of party legislature on February 20

Ahead of the crucial party legislature meeting called by ruling Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav at 4 pm on Saturday, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi surprised his rival camp by calling meeting of his Cabinet ministers at 2 pm on Saturday. The State unit of the BJP too is scheduled to meet at 12 pm to chalk out their strategy.

Mr. Manjhi had earlier called the party legislature meeting as “unauthorized and unconstitutional” and had summoned a separate meeting of party legislature on February 20. All those ministers and legislators belonging to Mr Manjhi’s camp have now started reaching his official residence 1, Anne Marg on Saturday morning. “We’re solidly behind the Chief Minister and if he will be removed from his post we’ll go to poll”, party MLA and Manjhi’s ardent camp follower Gyanendra Singh Gyanu told The Hindu.

Reacting to party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member K. C. Tyagi’s comment that now Mr. Manjhi has no constitutional right to call the Cabinet meeting as he has lost support of majority, senior JD-U leader and Brishan Patel asked, “Who is K. C. Tyagi to make such decision…Is he the Governor of Bihar?”.

Keeping a close watch on the fast-changing political developments in the State, the BJP too had called meeting of its party leaders and legislators at the residence of senior state party leader Sushil Kumar Modi at his official residence 1, Polo Road at 12 pm. Meanwhile, supporters of Jitan Ram Manjhi have come out on streets in Makhdumpur, his assembly constituency, and started protesting against party president’s move to oust him from the post of Chief Minister. Shouting slogans against party president Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar they also blocked Jehanabad-Gaya road in Shakurabad causing inconvenience to traffic movement.

All eyes in the political corridor of the state are now fixed on the Cabinet meeting called by the Chief Minister and the party legislature meet called by his rival camp thereafter. Both the groups have been claiming to have enough support in their favour to prove majority. Mr. Tyagi on Saturday morning claimed to have support of as many as 130 party MLAs in their favour which was strongly refuted by rival camp leader Gyanendra Singh Gyanu. “Just wait for some time more you all will come to know who is going to stay and who will have to leave the battlefield”. However, pregnant silence made by the man behind all these political rift and developments in the state has baffled everyone.

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After U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue of religious intolerance in India, The New York Times published a very strong editorial criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what it calls his “dangerous silence” on a series of communal events in the country.The editorial, by the NYT editorial board, lists recent attacks on churches and reports of Ghar Vapsi or conversion and marks out the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for its proposed conversions programme in Ayodhya in March this year, saying the group “was playing with fire.” “Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right,” the NYT editorial surmised.Full text of the Editorial published in the New York Times on February 6, 2015:What will it take for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out about the mounting violence against India’s religious minorities? Attacks at Christian places of worship have prompted no response from the man elected to represent and to protect all of India’s citizens. Nor has he addressed the mass conversion to Hinduism of Christians and Muslims who have been coerced or promised money. Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right.Recently, a number of Christian churches in India have been burned and ransacked. Last December, St. Sebastian’s Church in East Delhi was engulfed in fire. Its pastor reported a strong smell of kerosene after the blaze was put out. On Monday, St. Alphonsa’s Church in New Delhi was vandalised. Ceremonial vessels were taken, yet collection boxes full of cash were untouched. Alarmed by the attacks, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has urged the government to uphold the secular nature of India and to assure its Christians they are “protected and secure” in their own country.There is also concern about the mass conversions. Last December, about 200 Muslims were converted to Hinduism in Agra. In January, up to 100 Christians in West Bengal “reconverted” to Hinduism. Hard-line Hindu nationalist groups, like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), make no secret of their support for a “homecoming” campaign designed to “return” non-Hindus to the fold. More than 80 per cent of Indians are Hindu, but Pravin Togadia of the VHP says his organisation’s goal is a country that is 100 per cent Hindu. The only way to achieve that is to deny religious minorities their faith.The VHP is reportedly planning a mass conversion of 3,000 Muslims in Ayodhya this month. The destruction of the Babri Mosque there in 1992 by Hindu militants touched off riots between Hindus and Muslims across India that left more than 2,000 people dead. The VHP knows it is playing with fire.Mr. Modi has promised an ambitious agenda for India’s development. But, as President Obama observed in a speech in New Delhi last month: “India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith.” Mr. Modi needs to break his deafening silence on religious intolerance.

The New York Times editorial slams Modi

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