Neena Vyas

Somnath denies permission for BJP minority cell members to sing the national song

  • Congress playing vote bank politics: BJP
  • Centre charged with compromising on security for Ayodhya complex

    NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has given up the idea of 200 of its minority cell members singing Vande Mataram in the precincts of the Parliament House here on September 5 as Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has denied permission for it.

    Besides this, two views have emerged in the party about the appropriateness of the plan itself. "Why should we segregate Muslim members of our party and ask them to sing the national song separately from the rest of the party which will be participating in the centenary celebrations of the song on September 7 along with the rest of the country?" a senior leader asked.

    It is also felt that the party should not harp on making the singing compulsory. It was more an issue related to disrespect to the national song. The Government had bungled by first suggesting that children in all schools throughout the country should sing Vande Mataram at 11 a.m. on September 7, and then sending another circular saying this was not compulsory.

    Party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad objected to this while charging that the Congress was playing vote bank politics on this issue, which had been settled at the time of independence.

    Ayodhya security

    Mr. Prasad charged the Government with compromising on security measures for the Ayodhya complex by telling the court that it wanted a "consensus" on the issue of making the complex bullet-proof. "Security cannot be subject to consensus. It has to do with the threat perception and to intelligence reports," Mr. Prasad emphasised. If there was a threat perception to any place of worship, it was the Government's duty to ensure its protection by taking whatever steps were necessary.

    Condemns Ujjain incident

    The party condemned the Ujjain incident in which a professor died after students allegedly belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad roughed him up. Mr. Prasad claimed that the BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh had ordered an inquiry and the guilty would not be spared. When asked why a case of murder had not been registered, Mr. Prasad said: "I am not the SP [superintendent of police] of Ujjain."