BJP asks Centre to send Constitutional directive to Maharashtra

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) Strongly condemning violence against North Indians in Maharashtra, the BJP today asked the Centre to send its directives to the state government under Article 355 of the Constitution for failing to protect lives and ensuring safety of all non-Maharashtrians there.

Accusing the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said that the government had adopted a clear double standard in sending directives to the state governments.

''It took no time for the Centre to send its Constitutional directives to Orissa and Karnataka governments, it was yet to send such a directive to Maharashtra even when the attacks were targetted against non-Maharashtrian workers,'' he said.

The silence of Union Ministers Lalu Prasad and Ramvilas Paswan on the attacks on people from Bihar and other North Indian states was conspicious. Mr Paswan went to the extent of advocating citizenship to all Bangladeshis until August 2008 but had not sought the Centre sending its directive, Mr Ravishankar Prasad said.

Asked persistently by reporters if the BJP's relations with Shiv Sena had been strained because of its stance against North Indians, Mr Prasad said BJP was clearly opposed to violence. The Constitution allowed any citizen to live and work in any part of the country without impediment.

Asked if the BJP was finding difficulty in balancing its relations between the Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (United), Mr Prasad said both the parties were part of the NDA for a long time and had accepted and worked for the implementation of the National Agenda for Governance. Shiv Sena headed the coalition in Maharashtra but there had been no problems for the non-Maharashtrian migrants from other parts of the country.

''The Congress and the NCP which were now propping up MNS to counter Shiv Sena should make some introspection about their alliance with the terror perpetrators in the past. The BJP takes a strong exception to link terror with religion and attempts to paint individual actions against an organisation or religion.

The BJP today sought for a professional and fair investigation in the light of arrests made in the Malegaon blasts. If there is any evidence of involvement of suspected workers of Hindu organisations, proceed against them according to the law of the land,'' he said.

Mr Prasad said that the BJP as a matter of principle condemned all acts of violence and terror but there had been an effort to link individual acts with the organisation and the religion by painting Malegaon blasts either as Hindu or saffron terror.

The BJP had never linked spate of incidents of terror across the country with any religion although the hands of individuals from the minority community were suspected behind these events.

He said the party had not linked crimes of even the convicted Congressmen including former Gujarat Minister Mohammad Surti, who was sentenced for 20 years of imprisonment for transporting explosives and AK-47 in his official car, Sushil Sharma of infamous Tandoor murder case or Bhola Pande, who was arrested for plane hijack.

''We will not accept the insinuations of terror link with Hinduism too,'' he said.

He asked ''the Congress to do introspection into its own actions like propping up Bhindarnwale in Punjab, or its own intentions to remain soft on SIMI or even question the martyrdom of Delhi Police Inspector in the Jamia encounter. Now they were backing Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

It is a clear hypocrisy on the part of Congress to attack BJP,'' he said.

UNI MCN/KAS KK RP BD1800

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