Sunday, April 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Crucial week for govt: Surjeet
Says Oppn to block Parliament proceedings
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The next one week will be crucial for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre. This was announced here today by one of the most important leaders the Opposition’s thinktank and strategist, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, General Secretary of the CPM, in an interview with The Tribune.

The Opposition would go all out to remove the Vajpayee government, he added. However, all would depend on the stand taken by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by Mr Chandrababu Naidu, the most crucial ally of the BJP government at the Centre. The TDP had urged the BJP to remove the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi.

Stung by the political cover provided to the Gujarat Chief Minister by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, yesterday at the party’s meeting in Panjim, the Opposition parties have decided to block the proceedings of Parliament on April 15 and 16. And on April 17, nationwide demonstrations and dharnas would be held to launch a campaign against Mr Vajpayee and his “anti-Muslim” statements.

Mr Surjeet, who was here today to inaugurate the Freedom Movement Preservation and Propagation Centre, said the demonstrations would be held under the banner of the National People’s Front. The BJP government would be countered on the Gujarat issue in Parliament with full might by the entire Opposition.

He said Mr Vajpayee, by making his remarks against “Muslims” yesterday, had put the political future of certain constituents of the NDA in a jeopardy. It was possible that parties like the Telugu Desam, the DMK and even the Trinamool Congress would withdraw support to the BJP-led government because of political compulsions.

Mr Vajpayee had “thrown the NDA agenda and the common minimum programme into the dustbin and adopted the RSS agenda of “Hindutva”, Mr Surjeet said. He said the myth of a liberal politician created about himself by Mr Vajpayee had been shattered. Mr Vajpayee had proved beyond doubt that he was an RSS activist pursuing RSS agenda without any reservations. “Mr Vajpayee had created an illusion about himself. Finally, he himself blew up that illusion yesterday at Panjim by spitting venom against the Muslims”, Mr Surjeet said.

Mr Vajpayee had become a leader of the “hate campaign” against a particular minority community in the country. In fact, earlier too he had announced that he was a “swayamsevak” first and then a politician. This was followed by another statement in Lucknow that the BJP did not need Muslim votes in the Uttar Pradesh elections.

He said there was a threat to the unity of the country from the BJP and its sister organisations. It was a big challenge before the Opposition to stop the BJP from marching ahead with its election programme in Gujarat. When a large number of Muslims had fled from their homes and several thousands were living in camps, how then could the Assembly elections be held, he asked.

The Opposition will not allow Mr Vajpayee to make Gujarat a laboratory for testing his Hindutva programme,” he claimed.

He said the silence of Akali leaders, especially Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his associates, on crucial political issues like minorities and POTA, had proved that the Akalis had become puppets in the hands of the BJP. They had forgotten their earlier agitation for the restoration of civil liberties and against the draconian laws of the land. “Akali leaders today are not even a pale shadow of the Akali leaders of pre- Independent India”, he added.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |