The Gujarat assembly election results show that the BJP has nothing much to celebrate. Although it has won a majority to form a government, it has got the lowest number of seats in the last two decades. It is expected to win around hundred seats compared to 115 last time – a big fall from the “Mission 150” declared by BJP President Amit Shah. The erosion in support can also be seen from the fact that in the Lok Sabha election of 2014 the BJP had led in 165 assembly segments.
It is strange that the Election Commission has announced the date of election for Himachal Pradesh Assembly while withholding the announcement of date for Gujarat Assembly elections.
Drawing the wrong interpretation from the Supreme Court decision, the gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam have been closed. The Supreme Court decision had clearly stated that only after proper rehabilitation of the dam-affected was done and after the affected had been given compensation, could they be removed after July 31.
The comparison between the way that the Government agencies are conducting themselves in Teesta’s case are in stark and shameful contrast to the way that the Government is protecting the accused in the Vyapam and other cases involving top Government and ruling party leaders.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns the Gujarat Police move to arrest Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand in Mumbai. The arrest of Teesta Setalvad has been stayed for 24 hours at the intervention of the Supreme Court.
The Gujarat Police have targeted Teesta Setalvad because of her relentless championing of the rights of the victims of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002. While the Gujarat government is pursuing the harassment of Teesta Setalvad, it has been reinstating police officials who are facing serious criminal charges.
The new BJP President has been chargesheeted and is undergoing trial on the serious charge of murder connected with false encounters when he was the Home Minister in Gujarat. The Election Commission had prohibited him from participating in the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh during the Lok Sabha polls for making communal speeches. By this choice of President, the BJP has declared its intent to pursue the type of communal politics and agenda that was practiced in Gujarat.
The decision of the Modi Government to go ahead with raising the height of the Narmada dam to 138.7 metres goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court judgment of 2000 which had made any such step conditional on putting into place relief and rehabilitation measures for those who will be affected. The CPI(M) opposes the decision. It will be part of the struggle to force the Government to reverse this decision and ensure that proper relief and rehabilitation is ensured for all affected families.
The FIR filed against Teesta Setalvad in an Ahmedabad police station is a most vindictive act by the Modi Government designed as a form of punishment for her fight for justice on behalf of Zakia Jaffri and other victim families of the Gujarat violence in 2002. It is a measure of the contempt for minimum democratic norms by the Modi Government that it has time and again sought to suppress through threats, warnings, false FIRs and concocted stories all efforts by Teesta Setalvad and others to bring out the truth behind the role of the Chief Minister in the violence.