<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Alleging that Rahul Gandhi sides with those who raise anti-India slogans, senior BJP leader Anurag Thakur today said Congress should make it clear whether it thinks of Afzal Guru as a “terrorist or a nationalist”.”Gandhi sides with those who shout anti-India slogans in Jawaharlal Nehru University. It speaks about Congress’ ideology,” he said addressing the students of law college here. “Events are organised in JNU in support of Afzal Guru and Congress leaders can be spotted there. The party should make it clear if it thinks of Afzal Guru as a terrorist or a nationalist,” Thakur said. He said Congress was a “sinking ship” and it was evident from the result of various elections post demonetization.”In Chandigarh municipal corporation polls, BJP won 20 out of 26 seats. It shows people are with BJP and Prime Minister,” he said. Thakur said the Modi government is focusing on skill development programmes to help youths bag jobs. State Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf was in for some criticism from the students when he claimed that the Vasundhara Raje government gave jobs to more than 11 lakh youths.Hooted at by students, the minister said “they are not willing to listen to him” and returned to his seat.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is in Delhi on her maiden visit after taking over the reins of the state, today dismissed the possibility of shifting National Institute of Technology (NIT) out of the Valley.The 56-year-old Mehbooba, who assumed charge of the PDP-BJP government on April 4, called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, a meeting she described as a “courtesy call”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Emerging from the 45-minute meeting with Singh, Mehbooba said, “It is a courtesy call on the Home Minister after I took over as the Chief Minister”.During the meeting, the two sides are believed to have discussed the present turmoil in the state due to clashes between outstation students and police besides law and order situation arising out of militancy. Sources in the ministry said the Home Minister told Mehbooba that normalcy should be restored at the earliest.As she was leaving the North Block, journalists asked her questions about the unrest at the NIT and the demand by outstation students to shift the campus to Jammu.”Let me make it clear that it is an issue within the institute and please do not give it a colour of local versus outsiders. The Human Resources Development Ministry is looking into the grievances of the outstation students and I am hopeful that it will be resolved soon.” Mehbooba Mufti As far as demands of some students to shift the NIT campus out of Srinagar is considered, let me make it clear that it won’t be possible,” she said.To a question that many outstation students had not appeared in the examination that began on Monday, she said “Some students were not prepared for exams. Their exams would be conducted later. Some students have gone back to their homes because of the environment,” Mehbooba, the first woman Chief Minister of the state, said.She later met Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and is believed to have discussed the issue of widening of state’s national highways which has been pending with his ministry for a long time. She is also believed to have taken up the issue of bad road connectivity within the state.
Asserting that he is not a “child”, a term used by HRD Minister Smriti Irani to refer to Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Parliament, one of the six JNU students accused of sedition has said in an open letter to her that he is instead her political “opponent”. “I heard the speech you gave in Parliament. I want to make it clear that this letter is not from a ‘child’ to a ‘motherly’ Minister but from one political person to another political person,” said the open letter by Anant Prakash. “I also want to make it clear that I do not judge a person’s merit by her educational qualification. In fact, I reject the concept of merit,” he further said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prakash said that while the minister asserts her identity as a woman, she had failed to stand with Vemula’s mother. “You assert your identity as a woman and you must do that because women are among those groups who have been oppressed for long. But Vemula’s mother, a Dalit woman, fought with this patriarchal society to raise her kids and gave them her identity but why is your government associating the identity of her children to her husband. “Are you standing with a Brahmanical and patriarchal society? Why are you snatching away her right to have an independent identity,” the letter said. Prakash also asked Irani to read Manusmriti and said that he hopes she would leave BJP once she reads it as a woman.”You said in your speech that politics is happening over Rohit’s murder but you are not so naive to not understand that he died due to saffron politics. “Don’t you know the process of natural justice that a decision cannot be taken without listening to the party concerned. We were debarred by an inquiry committee without even listening to us. Should you not have been cautious to not announce our names in the Parliament in the most unconstitutional manner,” he added. Students and teachers have alleged that Irani had quoted in Parliament from a “half-cooked” report submitted by the university without any investigation. “Rohith’s mother is not begging you for justice, my mother is not crying for me too. She is concerned of course but she is encouraging me to fight against the fascist forces and is advising me to not be scared,” he added. Anant, a former JNU students’ union vice president, is among the five students police were looking for in connection with a sedition case over an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.They had disappeared following the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on February 12 and resurfaced back on campus last Sunday. While Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered before police, the remaining three — Ashutosh, Anant and Rama Naga — are residing on campus. They have refused to surrender but asserted that they are open to questioning by police during the course of investigation.