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80 BJP Minority Cell Leaders Resign over CAA and NRC in Indore

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Bhopal, Jan 23: In a second wave of resignations, more than 80 members of the BJP minority cell in Madhya Pradesh quit on Thursday. In the first instance last week, nearly 50 members had quit the cell even as the party struggled to contain nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Most resignations on Thursday came from the Indore-Malwa-Nimar region, traditionally a stronghold of the party. The party is now witnessing fissures within as minority leaders are unable to satisfactorily answer queries from the community.

As many as 48 members of the minority cell had quit the party in Bhopal over the legislation as protests continued all over the state. The ones who have quit have pointed to growing discrimination within the party.

“When did you last see a government passing a law in Parliament and then reach every door to seek support for it,” asked Ateeq Mohammad, who till recently supported the BJP even after the passing of CAA and a proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

He said he was not a member of the party while many of his relatives have been. “There is a disillusion writ large on my family members’ faces,” he said.

Adil Khan, who quit the BJP as its Bhopal district minority cell Vice President last week, said that he would join the nation-wide protests over the new citizenship law.

Ateeq Mohammad said that minority community members, who have been in the BJP fold for over a decade, never felt the discriminatory attitude during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The ones who have quit said the party has been short on democracy even in the past. But the new trend showed desperation since the party lost power in the state with frustration manifesting into shrill reactions.

The lack of direction in the actions of the Central leadership has resulted in some leaders hijacking the organisation in the state, they alleged.

The BJP, on its part, has refuted the allegations and accused the Congress and the Leftists of misleading people.

“Community leaders and Communists who work against the interest of the country have misled our workers, who don’t understand the issue properly,” Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava of the BJP had said on Tuesday.

Some majority community leaders feel the Hindu-Muslim debate must end at the earliest and economy, employment and development must come back on the party’s national and state agenda.

BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayavagiya denied knowledge about the resignations and said that he would speak to individual leaders to check on the matter. “They have apparently been misled by vested interests and the party leadership will certainly address their concerns,” he said.

Aseem Iqbal Khan, the minority cell General Secretary of the party’s Indore unit, said the new issues cropping up from now onwards would be like Uniform Civil Code and population control, where the minority community will be subjected to fresh barbs.

“The vested interests would be cultivating their voters at our expense. The hate campaign is peaking up again,” he said.

Cities

Those born in TN won’t be affected by CAA: Palaniswami

Palaniswami said those who were born in Tamil Nadu will not be affected by CAA.

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Edappadi K Palaniswami

Chennai, Feb 18 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Tuesday said those who were born in the state would not be affected by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Speaking in the Assembly, Palaniswami said the opposition DMK should explain who in Tamil Nadu would get affected by CAA.

Palaniswami said those who were born in Tamil Nadu will not be affected by CAA.

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Cities

Jamia violence: Sharjeel Imam sent to 14-day judicial custody

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Sharjeel Imam

New Delhi, Feb 18 : Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam was on Tuesday sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection with violence which erupted in Jamia on December 15, last year.

Protests against the newly-enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had turned violent on December 15 near Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. Several buses were set on fire during the violence in which police and protesters sustained injuries.

Sharjeel was arrested on Monday in connection with the case and then sent to one-day police custody. He was produced before the court on Tuesday at the end of his remand period.

The Delhi police have named him as an instigator in the chargesheet filed in the case.

He was also slapped with a sedition case last month for allegedly making inflammatory speeches against the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

He is accused of mobilising students and is currently in judicial custody in connection with the case.

In a purported video, Imam was seen talking about splitting the northeast region from India to block the implementation of the NRC.

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6 killed in SUV-bus collision on Lucknow-Agra Expressway

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accident

Lucknow, Feb 18 (IANS) At least six persons were killed and 15 injured on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, when an SUV collided with a bus.

The accident happened on Monday night. The Volvo bus, belonging to Bihar Roadways, was on its way from Delhi to Bihar when the driver fell asleep and crossed the divider to hit a Fortuner coming from the opposite side.

The bus crossed the divider and fell into the service lane.

Five persons in the Fortuner were killed and the bus driver also died in the mishap. The bus had about 40 passengers.

According to the police, the Fortuner belonged to a Delhi resident Sunita Singh.

Four of the five decease have been identified as Sunny, 35, Mukesh, 40, Ram Shankar and Surjit. The fifth deceased has not yet been identified.

The injured passengers have been admitted to local medical facilities.

Sources said that the impact of the collision was so great that none of the passengers in the SUV could survive even though the air bags had opened up.

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