GANDHINAGAR: The JNU row rocked the Gujarat Assembly today as charges and counter charges flew thick and fast between treasury and opposition benches.
Legislators of ruling BJP slammed Congress leaders for supporting "traitors", while opposition MLAs hit back, asking the saffron outfit not to mislead the country in the name of their version of nationalism. Speaking during a discussion on the motion of thanks to Governor for his address, Rajnikant Patel (BJP) justified the police action against JNU students who organised an event to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where "anti-national" slogans were raised.
"It is unfortunate that Afzal Guru's death anniversary was celebrated in JNU, where some people raised anti-India slogans and called for India's dismemberment. It is necessary to take strict action against such persons," Patel said. In an apparent reference to former Home Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram's reported remark on Guru's death sentence, he said, "Recently, a former Cabinet Minister said the decision on Afzal Guru's sentence was not proper. I strongly condemn such remarks. The decision was taken by the court. How can he question court's decision? Is he above the Supreme Court?"
The BJP MLA also cited former Home Secretary G K Pillai's recent claim that the affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case was changed at the "political" level. "Even if we do not give importance to (Pakistani-American terrorist) David Headley's claim about Ishrat Jahan being a LeT operative, the former Home Secretary revealed that the affidavit was changed to malign the image of (then Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi," said Patel.
Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, pointing towards the treasury bench, said it is foolish to think that power can be retained by sending someone (JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar) to jail. Legislative Affairs Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja objected to Gohil's indirect reference to JNU students, saying it is improper to comment on an issue which is sub-judice.
Gohil, however, put forward his point by giving an example of Lord Krishna (Kanhaiya) and his uncle King Kansa. "King Kansa sent Kanhaiya (Lord Krishana) in jail to save his own rule. However, did imprisoning Kanhaiya help Kansa? His act eventually shook the pillars of his kingdom," stated Gohil, while challenging Jadeja to find flaw in the statement. He asked BJP not to mislead the country in the name of their version of nationalism. Gohil also asked BJP to clarify its stand on alliance with PDP which had opposed Guru's death sentence.
"BJP should clarify it's political alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir as that party had openly opposed the death sentence of Afzal Guru. Their own leader Ram Jethmalani (then in BJP) had also objected to the death sentence awarded to Guru," the senior Congress legislator said. In his reply, Jadeja, who is also the Law Minister, attacked Congress on the issue of "anti-India" slogans raised in JNU and without taking names, slammed Congress Vice- President Rahul Gandhi over his stand on the matter.
"Anti-India slogans were shouted in JNU for a person who was responsible for the attack on Parliament, where nine people were killed. It is unfortunate that a prominent national leader went to JNU and supported such traitors," Jadeja said in his response.