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NDA Sharpens Nationalist Pitch for Parliament Battle

BJP MPs give notice for discussion on JNU row and David Headley’s revelation about Ishrat Jahan; Rajya Sabha debate today

Published: 24th February 2016 05:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2016 05:12 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The Opposition will not have it easy. The BJP-led NDA on Tuesday decided to go all out to counter their attacks on the JNU row and the suicide of Hyderabad University research scholar when these issues are taken up for discussion in both Houses of Parliament. The Modi government wants the focus to stay on nationalism when these issues are debated.

The Rajya Sabha has listed both the issues to be taken up for discussion. All the senior leaders from major political parties have given notices to participate in the discussion which is likely to witness some heated exchanges. The Upper House will discuss the attack by lawyers at the Patiala House court complex on Thursday.

BJP MPs have given notice in the Lok Sabha for discussion on the JNU issue and also on the deposition of Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley in which he had said Ishrat Jahan, killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat, was an LeT operative. BJP chief Amit Shah addressed members of the parliamentary party executive and NDA MPs separately about the details of the JNU case, backing the party’s nationalist pitch.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the meeting. The BJP will portray the support extended by Congress leaders such as Rahul Gandhi and the Left to JNU students as their supporting the “nti-national” camp in the university.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the meeting that he would ask Rahul about the slogans raised in support of Parliament terror attack convict Afzal Guru who, he noted, was hanged during UPA rule.The briefing included how the NDA members should rake up incidents, including the alleged assault on army officials in JNU following the Kargil war, to buttress their arguments. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the gathering about the legal aspects of the case, as a debate rages on about the sedition charges against the JNU students. Some of the NDA allies, in private, had expressed apprehensions over invoking such stringent sections against the students.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkiah Naidu said, “What happened in JNU has disturbed the country. Slogans were being shouted against the country and in favour of the neighbour (Pakistan). Let there be a debate. We have nothing to hide and nothing to worry. We have no hesitation in discussing any issue.” 

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