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I am not invited for Ayodhya event but it doesn’t matter: Swamy

Priya Sahgal

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Dr Subramanian Swamy, who played a key role in the legal battle for the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, spoke to The Daily Guardian, about the bhoomi pujan. Swamy said that he is not bitter about not being invited, but he did what he had to do without any expectations. He also countered criticism from the Opposition on the timing of the bhoomi pujan and whether the PM should be attending the event. And of course, he gave an update on the Sushant Singh Rajput case. Excerpts:

Q: Are you upset at not being invited for the bhoomi pujan?

A: My not being invited for bhoomi pujan doesn’t matter. Frankly, I fought the fight because Ashok Singhal asked me to do so in 2015 when the case was not being heard in any court. However, I have been asking from 1 January this year that now since we have got the Ram temple clearance from the courts, Ashok Singhal should be given the Bharat Ratna. But this did not happen.

Q: How did you get involved in the case?

 A: My commitment was to Ashok Singhal. I never participated in the Ram temple movement before that though when Chandrashekhar became the PM, he told me to talk to (Syed) Shahabuddin, who was the chairman of the Babri Masjid action committee, and Chandrasekhar said, the only person he thinks, as a friend is you. So, I talked to Shahabuddin and after much discussion, he agreed that if you can prove that there was a temple below, then he said that I being a good Muslim will never allow a masjid to be built on top of it. He added that I myself will go and break it. This is recorded on the white paper, which the Narasimha Rao government subsequently released.

Later, in 2015, Ashok Singhal called me. He told me that now I have come to the conclusion that Ram Temple is not going to be built in my lifetime because no hearing was held for Ram Temple in 2010 till 2015, so he said our people also don’t seem to be interested and he was very disappointed. He said that I won›t be around much longer, but you have to complete the task. He called a press conference and said I am handing all the Ram Mandir litigation to Dr Subramaniam Swamy and a year later, he passed away. So having given a promise, for me it was Jaan jaye par vachan na jaaye (My word is more valuable than my life). Then, the problem was how do I get involved in the Supreme Court case because all the other parties, including the BJP asked: Who is he? What does he have to do with all this? He has no connection to this.

It was then that a lady advocate, who wants to remain anonymous, told me that you should go by the route of fundamental rights. Until then, it was being contested as a property case between the Sunni waqf board and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Smiti. Therefore, the Allahabad High Court also divided the property and said that you take some and you take some.That’s what the Supreme Court would have also done. The matter came before Justice Chelameswar. He ordered that I should post my submission in the main matter. So that’s how we got the hearing to court. I introduced this idea of fundamental rights and the court began hearing the case on a day-to-day hearing.

However, soon after I got a call from Amit Shah that there is a meeting at his house in the evening and I should come. I went there and he said you should get out of this case now.

 Q: Why would Amit Shah want you out of the Ram Janmabhoomi case?

A: He wanted me out of the case. There were other witnesses also; RSS people were there, VHP people were there, as were BJP office bearers. He said this in front of them. I asked him in what capacity are you asking me? He replied I am the president of the party. I then pointed out that Ashok Singhal told me to do it (take up the case), you never asked me to do this. So, you have no authority to tell me (to drop it). I will go according to what I promised Ashok Singhal and I am not getting out of this.

And it was this idea of fundamental rights based on faith, which cannot be questioned, which became the main argument, and that’s how we got the judgement. In the meantime, our government, acting on the advice of Gurumurthy, filed an application with the SC stating that please give the government permission to denationalise the land which Narasimha Rao had nationalised.

Q: This is fast becoming a saga of the Hindu Divided Family.

A: (laughs) Had that happened there would have been no Ram Janmabhoomi temple construction. But fortunately, the SC ignored that application and it never came up for consideration. And in the meantime, the judgement in favour of the temple came.

Q: From this conversation at least, it doesn’t look as if you are bitter at not being invited?

A: One thing I should make clear is that I have known Modi for a long time. In 2005, I was almost the first person who said you should be the PM and I still believe that he should be the PM. As far as him being the PM is concerned, he has my total support. On my last birthday, the entire sadhu community of Ayodhya and the entire city turned out for me because they all had only one hope that it is only I who can get Ram Mandir built. And it happened. Therefore, today why should I go when they are only putting up foundation stone? That’s an official function. I will wait till the temple is built and I will go there and have a look. I have a large number of friends and associates there. If today I were to go, there will be a counter demonstration of popularity, which would be very embarrassing for a lot of people.

Q: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has said this is an inauspicious time for bhoomi pujan.

A: I don’t know what philosophy Digvijaya Singh follows. I once asked Shankracharya that everybody consults the panchang (astrology) for appropriate time. Should I also consult panchang? He said if you are satisfied that you are doing a good deed, then don’t look at it.If you are doing a bad deed, any day is bad. So, I believe God will decide the date. Whatever date they have selected, I have not paid any attention to whether it is auspicious or not. There are so many sadhus involved in this and if they got it wrong and only Digvijaya Singh got it right, there is only a difference of opinion.

Q: Finally, what is the update on the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

A: I spoke to Nitish Kumar about bringing in the CBI and he agreed on one condition that if the family agrees; and the family has agreed. You have to have a CBI inquiry. After all, this is a crime that is committed in Mumbai and the police which are investigating have a very close proximity to Bollywood, they go to their parties, have fun and games there; and politicians are also involved. Why is there no FIR even 50 days after the crime? And you decided to go 11 km for postmortem when you had Leela Hospital just 2 km away? The ambulances had come from both hospitals.

Q: What about Aditya Thackeray’s involvement?

A: What about the fact that a son of a very important politician is involved in this?

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Bank licences to corporates a ‘bad idea’: Rajan

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New Delhi: Days after an Internal Working Group (IWG) of Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) recommended allowing large Indian corporates to enter the banking sector, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and Deputy Governor Viral Acharya have hit back at the suggestion and questioned the timing for it. Terming the recommendation as a “bombshell”, in a blogpost, they said that although several recommendations of the report are worth adopting the one to allow corporate houses into banking should not be taken up. “To the contrary, it is even more important today to stick to the tried and tested limits on corporate involvement in banking,” said the article.

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Foreign Secretary to visit Nepal on 26 November

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Kathmandu: Resuming the high-level visit and exchanges with Nepal, India is sending its top diplomat to Kathmandu on 26 November. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will pay an official visit to the Himalayan country on November 26-27, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday. The announcement was made in New Delhi too. The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two neighbours and the priority India attaches to its relations with Nepal, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in its statement. Shringla’s visit comes after two back-to-back high-level visits from new Delhi by Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane (November) and Research and Analysis Wing head Samant Goel (October).

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Market opens higher, Sensex hits fresh high

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Mumbai: The key Indian equity indices opened in the green on Monday with the BSE Sensex touching a new record high within just minutes into the trade. Healthy buying was witnessed in metal, energy and oil and gas stocks. Sensex touched an all-time high of 44,271.15 points. The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 12,930.85, higher by 71.80 points or 0.56 per cent from its previous close.

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Covid-19: Vibrant Gujarat summit may be postponed

Abhijit Bhatt

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The biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, organised by the Gujarat government to attract investors, is unlikely to be held this year, due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in Gujarat. The summit, considered the foremost among all industrial summits of Gujarat, may be postponed till January 2021.

A senior Gujarat government official told The Daily Guardian that Vibrant Gujarat would be held in the first or second week of January. However, given the pandemic situation at the moment, it is difficult to say whether the summit will take place in just a month and half’s time for sure. However, an official decision is yet to be taken. No announcements have been made about cancelling the January event.

Narendra Modi started the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in 2003 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat to attract foreign investors to the state.

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Military storage bunkers spotted in Chinese village near Doklam

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NEW DELHI: China’s new villages close to the Line of Actual Control, meant ostensibly for settling civilians from far-flung areas close to the border, are part of strategy to enhance its military infrastructure in the area, top sources said.

One such village has also come up near Doklam where military storage facilities have been observed, as per intelligence reports. Construction of the new hardened bunkers appears to be an effort at militarily reinforcing the larger Doklam region, the source said.

There are dozens of similar settlements along the LAC, most of them coming up in areas facing Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Part of their integrated model villages that the Chinese intend to put to dual use – for civil and military purposes, some villages however remain uninhabited and are only turning out to increase military infrastructure to cater to additional deployment of the People’s Liberation Army.

Shelters have also come up at Bumdro which is opposite Kameng. Six to seven concrete huts have been constructed at Bumdro near Domsongrong to accommodate PLA personnel during their patrolling activity in Mera La, Thag La and Yangtse Area.

China has also constructed a road from Tirkangto Shivung La. The work was being undertaken from uphill side of Tirkang village in the south west direction towards Shiyung La.

IANS

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Farmers’ union refuses to budge, Punjab CM expresses concern

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CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Expressing serious concern over the decision of one farmers’ union not to allow passenger trains to ply till the Centre accedes to their demands on the issue of farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said this would put the people to major inconvenience and could have grave consequences for the state.

Reacting to the announcement of Kissan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (Piddi) that they would not budge on their rail blockade of passenger trains till the farm laws’ issue is resolved, the Chief Minister said that, by striking this discordant note, the union was acting against the interests of Punjab and its people.

When all the other 31 farmers’ organisations had decided unanimously to withdraw from the tracks to allow both goods and passenger trains to move in the state for the next 15 days, this one union’s decision was not understandable, said Captain Amarinder, adding that this would alienate Kissan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (Piddi) from the people.

He cautioned the Committee against taking such a harsh stand, which could lead to them losing the support of the masses, who had so far wholeheartedly backed the farmers’ agitation against the farm laws. “When the state government and every person in Punjab has been extending their full support to the farmers, why is this Union taking a stance against their own state?” he asked.

Given that both the Centre and the other farmers’ unions had taken conciliatory steps to resolve the crisis triggered by the agricultural laws, the Kissan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (Piddi) should not do anything to derail the process of negotiation and discussion, he added. It was in the interest of all, including the farmers themselves, to find a solution to the problems unleashed by the central laws, on which every section of Punjab’s populace, as well as his government, was standing shoulder to shoulder with the farming community, said the Chief Minister.

The message that was emanating from the stand of the Kissan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (Piddi) was that the union was not really interested in breaking the stalemate on the farm laws issue, Captain Amarinder said. In any case, said the Chief Minister, blocking a one-odd track would serve no purpose even for the Committee, which, incidentally, had chosen to stay away from the meeting convened by him on Saturday to urge the farm unions to lift their blockade.

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