Posts Tagged ‘Anna Hazare’
Madhya Pradesh PCC president Kantilal Bhuria has revoked Harish Arora’s suspension and reinstated him as the secretary of the State unit of the party. The whole thing appears intriguing because Arora has not apologised for his remarks against Digvijay Singh.
Arora, from Shahdol district, was appointed one of the secretaries when the PCC executive was announced some time back. He had landed himself in trouble with the party leadership by publicly observing that Digvijay Singh’s jibes against Anna Hazare would harm the Congress interests.
As he learnt that the party leadership was planning action against him, Arora submitted his resignation in which he reiterated his conviction that Digvijay Singh’s remarks against Anna Hazare were not in the interest of the Congress party. He was promptly removed from the party post and suspended from the party for his “anti-party activities”.
However, a few days later Bhuria called Arora to his residence, took a letter of “apology” from him, revoked his suspension from the party and reinstated him as the secretary.
There is a disciplinary committee of the PCC headed by veteran Congress leader and former minister Hajarilal Raghuvanshi. The matter of Arora and his apology, should under normal circumstance, have been referred to the disciplinary committee but it was not. Rather, the whole matter was handled in a hush-hush manner.
Knowledgeable sources say that Arora has “apologised” for his deemed anti-party activities without withdrawing his “offending” remarks against Digvijay Singh.
Shehla Masood’s father Sultan Masood has told a national TV channel that Shivraj Singh Chauhan knows about those behind his RTI activist daughter’s murder but he is hiding the truth. The chief minister was expected to make his position clear but all he did about this serious allegation was to mobilise the government machinery to ensure that this was completely blacked out in the local media.
Sultan Masood is a retired government official and knows what he is saying, particularly about the State’s chief minister in connection with a high-profile murder. He was aware of Shehla’s RTI applications about the property details of the chief minister’s close relations. Sultan has also expressed surprise at how selectively the police had interrogated the BJP leaders who are under suspicion for varying reasons.
Shehla Masood, in her late thirties, was found shot dead in her car around 11 in the morning of August 16. A vibrant RTI activist and supporter of Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, she was galvanised by the news of Hazare’s arrest in Delhi that morning and had planned, along with fellow RTI activists, a signature campaign at the Boat Club at 2 pm in support of Anna Hazare.
If what Sultan Masood says has a grain of truth, that also explains the anxiety of the police top brass to reach the spot promptly after the murder and ‘take care’ of the situation and the spread of the canard about Shehla having committed suicide. That the police had tampered with the evidence had started coming out on the very second day of the CBI having started its own investigation.
Calls were made from Shehla’s mobile long after she was killed and the police had taken the mobile into their custody. The car in which the slain body of Shehla was found was ‘forensically examined’ by the police and sealed. The CBI, when it took possession of the car, found a gold pendant, supposed to be Shehla’s (the chain without the pendant was provided by the police) and several files.
It is difficult to imagine that the police officers and forensic experts of Madhya Pradesh are dullards or blind and did not see these objects in the car. What game the police had played by leaving (or planting afresh) these objects in the car is for the CBI to find out. There is a suspicion that the police had meddled with contents in Shehla’s laptop also but the CBI is yet to examine it. The laptop must have contained the explosive stuff about some persons whom the Madhya Pradesh police want to protect.
The real extent of the police mischief may not be known till the CBI files a criminal case for destruction of evidence (which is a serious offence) against all those who have handled the Shehla Masood murder case till the CBI took it over and interrogates them formally.
Sultan Masood’s allegation that Shivraj Singh Chauhan knows about the conspirators behind Shehla’s murder brings into focus an entirely new situation which, though in the air for some time, was hitherto dismissed as only a political phenomenon. Masood’s observation, the police officers’ act of tampering with the evidence and the selective interrogation of the BJP leaders (as Masood has alleged) make it more than political. The scenario unfolds like this:
A fierce internecine war has been going on in the Madhya Pradesh BJP for quite some time. At least three groups have been trying to dislodge Shivraj Singh Chauhan and have been working quietly trying to muster support within the party. An open revolt is out of the question because no group is certain that it will get the requisite support within the party and also from the Central leadership, already wary of the infightings in other States.
One of the groups saw the utility of Shehla Masood in its power play. Shehla was more than friendly with BJP member of Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand and the party’s national spokesperson Tarun Vijay. The latter was so much under the spell of the ebullient RTI activist that he was said to be contemplating separation from his wife for marrying Shehla Masood. They had travelled together several times to exotic places inside the country and outside. Their ‘love’ must have been like that of two teenagers going by the frequency and lengths of the calls they had been making to each other, as revealed by the call details of Shehla’s mobile.
The BJP group makes use of Shehla Masood through Tarun Vijay to get RTI applications filed seeking information about finances/deals of Chauhan’s relatives and a few BJP leaders whom Chauhan has gone out of the way to benefit with the public money. The business activities of a brother of Chauhan’s wife Sadhna Singh and a builder (who had been deciding about the postings of IAS officers and Chauhan had merely been signing the notification) are said to be particularly vulnerable. Official disclosure of the details could hurt Chauhan’s position, along with their also.
Then there are those engaged in illegal mining and wildlife smuggling, operating reportedly under the patronage of the Chauhan coterie. Shehla Masood had not only filed RTI applications about their activities but also had been in communication with the Central ministers, first Jairam Ramesh and then Jayanthi Natarajan. An exposure of their activities would have been disastrous not only for them but for certain politicians and bureaucrats also. Could it be that Chauhan and his trusted police officers were aware, as Sultan Masood feels, about whoever was plotting elimination of Shehla Masood?