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Friday 14 October 2011

Modi most communal, ready to defend Bhatt: Shanti Bhushan

Modi most communal, ready to defend Bhatt: Shanti Bhushan

Key Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan on Tuesday called Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi “the most communal person” and said he was willing to appear for “persecuted” IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in the Supreme Court if the latter approached him. Not long ago, Anna Hazare had praised Modi for his development initiatives in rural areas of Gujarat which opened himself to criticism that he was soft on the BJP.
The Bhushan senior, when asked about the BJP’s anti-corruption campaign, also said “there are lots of leaders in the BJP who are corrupt and had taken advantage of corruption”. He referred to Karnataka and asserted that the BJP could not take a high moral ground.
His other team members — Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia — are working over time to ensure the defeat of the Congress in Hisar byelection which could ironically benefit the BJP.
On a day Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh claimed the Bhushans were always opposed to the Congress, Bhushan said nobody could say he and his son Prashant were supporters of the BJP. “Everyday we are arguing in the court against (Narendra) Modi and against Hindutva ideology of RSS.”

Elaborating, he said, “Modi is the most communal person and he was responsible for the killing of a large number of Muslims.” The Bhushan senior alleged that Bhatt was being persecuted by Modi and said “we are supporting him”. Asked how he planned to support Bhatt, he said “if the matter comes to the Supreme Court, then we would be quite willing to appear for him if he approaches us”.
“I had represented Teesta Setalvad earlier. So, therefore, let us see how the situation develops.... We can’t, of course, solicit his brief. That will be professional misconduct. But if he approaches us, we will certainly appear for him,” he said. Bhushan said Bhatt was being persecuted only because he had filed an affidavit against Modi.
When pointed out that Hazare had earlier praised Modi, he said Anna had clarified after visiting Gujarat. “He was initially informed that some good development work is happening in Gujarat’s rural areas. When he visited Gujarat, he understood it was only a propaganda. He had then said liquor flows more than milk in Gujarat and had commented about non-appointment of Lokayukta.”
Significantly, Bhushan said “we are not against the Congress”. In his words, “we are against the Congress’s act of not supporting, not making a commitment to support the Jan Lokpal Bill”. “Therefore, we are telling the electorate that you must punish them so that they learn a lesson and revise their thinking and start quickly enacting the Bill if they don’t want to be defeated in UP elections also.”
While Nitin Gadkari has given in writing that his party supports the Jan Lokpal Bill, Bhushan said the assurance given by the BJP chief had been taken at the face value. “But if he goes back on his word and doesn’t support (the Bill) in the winter session, then we will campaign against them and we will ask the people to defeat them in the elections.”

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