Civil society members boycott Sanjay Nirupam's event, Cong cancels it
Mumbai, Oct 5: Members of a civil society here decided to boycott an event on a civic issue organised by Congress' Mumbai unit in the wake of its chief Sanjay Nirupam calling the Army's surgical strikes across the LoC as "fake".
However, the party later cancelled the panel discussion, on alleged "abduction of open spaces" in the city, which was scheduled at Patrakar Bhavan here at 3 PM today. No reason was given for cancelling the event.
The civil society members, including former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, Anandini Thakur, RTI activist Bhaskar Prabhu and others had yesterday decided to pull out as panelists from the event after Nirupam's remarks.
Gandhi, in an e-mail sent to Nirupam yesterday, expressed their decision not to attend the discussion. "It pains all Indians to hear an Indian national talking in such a manner and providing support to Pakistan's stand," he said in the e-mail.
"We found Nirupam questioning the authenticity of the surgical strikes and terming them fake as extremely unwarranted and avoidable. After having consultation with other members of the civil society, we decided to keep ourselves away from the meeting organised by Nirupam," Gandhi told PTI.
However, he said the civil society members will continue their opposition to the alleged abduction of public open spaces in Mumbai. The opposition parties as well as members of the civil society are not in favour of the Mumbai civic body's fresh plan to regulate open spaces in the metropolis, and to raise the issue the city unit of Congress had planned a panel discussion over it later today.
A political slugfest had yesterday erupted over the surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads across the LoC with Nirupam calling them "fake", provoking stinging criticism from BJP even as his own party said it "totally dissociates" from his remarks.
"Every Indian wants surgical strikes against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by BJP. politics over national interest(sic)," Nirupam had tweeted.