Posted by: informer | November 9, 2008

BJP backs Pragya but says law must take its course

New Delhi, November 3 : After taking a cautious step forward towards backing Pragya Singh Thakur on Monday, the BJP repeated that “law must take its own course if there’s any credible evidence against her” after the ATS released the transcripts of her alleged conversations with another accused where the Terror strikes are said to have been discussed in graphic detail.“The validity of the transcripts, however, first need to be examined by the court,” said party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Even as the BJP vacillated between the line drawn by prime ministerial candidate L K Advani — underlining the supremacy of law — and a groundswell of support for the Sadhvi by the party and other RSS organs that are putting a premium on her filial ties with the wider parivar, the Nashik units of the BJP/RSS were out in full strength outside the court on Monday where the Sadhvi was produced before the chief judicial magistrate. The local BJP unit had been coordinating with top Maharashtra BJP functionaries till late into the night before deciding “to come out in the open in full strength for the Sadhvi”.

They were, however, clearly outnumbered by the Shiv Sena. “The Shiv Sena and BJP supporters were present there in 70:30 ratio,” informed a lawyer arguing for Sadhvi’s accomplices.

The central BJP was, however, guarded even as the party spokesperson warned against any “sponsored investigation” against the Sadhvi. The BJP also said the role of the SIMI in the 2006 Malegaon blasts “had clearly been established” and that the “fundamentalist organisation had then tried to mislead the investigating agencies by deliberately buying bicycles from Hindu shopkeepers”.

Prasad said: “The ATS Mumbai must explain as to why it is not following at all the investigation in Malegaon 2008 blasts on the benchmark of the investigation in conclusion relating to 2006 blasts. This is all the more important because the role of SIMI in a series of bomb blasts all over the country is reappearing with alarming regularity and their involvement in 2008 Malegaon blasts also cannot be ruled out.”

On the inconsistencies in the BJP’s stand vis-a-vis the Jamia issue (where it had attacked the V-C after he offered legal aid to a couple of students implicated in Batla Nagar shootout), Prasad said: “Every accused is liable to get legal assistance as per the law of the land. If any Vice-Chancellor in any BJP-ruled state decides to support SIMI or Sadhvi Pragya our stand will be unchanged. What if the Assam University gives assistance to students involved with ULFA or Ujjain University supporting ABVP students accused in the Prof Sabharwal murder case.”The BJP in private says that the “NCP-Congress combine in Maharashtra is trying to manufacture a thesis of Hindu Terror in its bid to equate the RSS with organsiations like the SIMI”.

However, if the BJP is finding it difficult to synergise the actions of the state BJP with that of the central BJP on the one hand and its various central leaders on the other, its ally Shiv Sena has no such problems….


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