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What makes Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh ‘invincible’ in the BJP?



Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

The “shield of invincibility” he wears comes from the influence he enjoys in half a dozen Lok Sabha constituencies, while Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s strong links with the saints and his role in the Ayodhya temple movement make him stronger than many other MPs in the BJP.

The dozens of educational institutions he owns in eastern UP add to his vote bank.

Moreover, the ongoing municipal elections have created a climate that works in favour of the six-term MP, who is currently in the eye of storm over allegations of sexual harassment from wrestlers.

Singh is the President of the Wrestling Federation of India and wrestlers have been on protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding action against him.

The Delhi Police has filed two cases against hin after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so.

One of the FIRs is over a complaint of sexual harassment by a minor, filed under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which gives no scope for bail.

Yet the Delhi police has made no efforts to arrest Singh, who insists that he will face an inquiry but will not resign “as a criminal”.

The BJP, that claims to be firm on discipline, has turned a proverbial Nelson’s eye to his behaviour.

Much before he took over as WFI President in 2011, Singh was known for his arm-twisting tactics.

A key player in the Ayodhya movement, he was known as a one-man army for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh at that time – the party then had minimal presence on the political centre stage in the state.

Born in Gonda in 1957, Singh’s interest in politics began as a college student in the seventies.

He entered politics with a vengeance when senior BJP leader L.K. Advani came to Gonda during the Ayodhya movement.

Singh offered to “drive” Advani’s Rath and this catapulted him to instant fame within the BJP.

Singh won his first election in 1991, defeating Raja Anand Singh from Gonda.

The following year, he was named as an accused in the Babri demolition case which consolidated his “pro-Hindu image”.

He was acquitted along with others in 2020.

Singh has been elected to the Lok Sabha six times from Gonda, Balrampur, and Kaiserganj and more than his political acumen, he has been known as a mafia of the region.

At one point of time, Singh was named in more than three dozen criminal cases.

In 1996, he was accused of sheltering associates of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. He was booked under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act and jailed.

During his stint in prison, Atal Bihari Vajpayee allegedly wrote to him, asking him to take courage and “remember Savarkarji who was sentenced to life imprisonment”.

Later, he was acquitted in the case, mainly due to lack of evidence.

In 1996, when he was in jail, the BJP gave the Lok Sabha ticket to his wife Ketaki Singh and she won with a handsome margin.

The BJP, interestingly, has always given ample political protection to Singh mainly because of the clout he wields in eastern UP and among Rajputs.

The party leadership knows that it would lose out on seats if it showed the door to Singh.

Singh’s clout has only grown after the turn of the century and so has his money power.

His brazenness is evident from the fact that during the 2022 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Singh admitted in an interview to a TV channel that he had committed one murder – something that even the most dreaded criminal does not admit on camera.

In the interview, he said he shot the man who had killed Ravindra Singh. “I pushed the man who shot Ravindra Singh and shot him dead,” he said.

Earlier, in 2009, Singh had briefly parted ways with the BJP and joined the SP but he returned home to the BJP before Narendra Modi’s victory in 2014.

As his stature grew within the BJP, his “business” also flourished.

He owns around 50 schools and colleges and has interests in mining besides dabbling in liquor contracts, coal business and also real estate.

Singh is known to gift motorcycles, scooters, and money to students and supporters on his birthday every year.

His appointment as WFI chief in 2011, further added to his “weight”.

In December 2021, he did not think twice before slapping a wrestler on-stage during an event in Ranchi.

The kind of clout that Singh wields within the BJP, is evident from the fact that he has even slammed the Yogi Adityanath government and accused the bureaucracy of making elected representatives “touch their feet”. He also criticised the state government’s lack of preparedness for floods.

Political analysts are actually bewildered at the lack of action against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who is known to take the bull by its horns – more so, if it is a mafia in question.

“One can simply not understand Yogi Adityanath turning a blind eye to Singh’s activities. It has to be pressure from the top that is preventing the Chief Minister from turning his bulldozer towards Singh’s kingdom,” said a party functionary.

The fact that no action – not even a word of disapproval — was taken in the matter, has made him even bolder.

“Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh believes he is invincible and does not fear even his own party leadership. No one can dare criticise him and even journalists keep a safe distance from him. The police bow before him. The clout he wields can only be seen to be believed,” said one of his former supporters.

On Sunday, Singh dropped broad hints about his political options when he praised SP President Akhilesh Yadav for not slamming him in the ongoing controversy.

With the municipal elections already underway, the BJP knows that any action against this powerful MP will be detrimental to party interests.

Moreover, with Lok Sabha elections just a few months away, the BJP cannot target Singh.

He is any day a more influential Thakur in the state politics even though it is Yogi Adityanath who is recognised as a Thakur leader.

And that is reason enough for the BJP to avoid any action against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

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AAP legislator’s relative opens fire in Delhi



AAP legislator’s relative opens fire in Delhi

A relative of an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator in Delhi reportedly opened fire on some persons in Krishna Nagar market following a property-related dispute. The police said that they were looking into the matter.

A senior police officer said that on Sunday, they got a call at around 11.45 a.m. regarding the incident.

The caller told the police that said that fire had been opened in Krishna Nagar’s Friends Centre Market.

“Upon verification, it was found that one Sonu who came out of the gym had a quarrel with a group of known persons. One of the persons fired from a pistol. No one was injured in the firing. The accused are known to victim and they have previous enmity over a property-related dispute,” a police officer said.

The police officer said that a case was registered and a few persons were rounded off in the matter.

The official said that teams were conducting raids to nab the accused.

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‘This is not PM Modi’s defeat’, says Bommai after BJP loses in K’taka



‘This is not PM Modi’s defeat’, says Bommai after BJP loses in K’taka

‘This is not PM Modi’s defeat’, says Bommai after BJP loses in K’taka

A day after the announcement of Karnataka Assembly election results which saw the Congress emerging victorious with the required majority to form the government and the BJP crashing out of power, outgoing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said “the loss is not the defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

Bengaluru:  A day after the announcement of Karnataka Assembly election results which saw the Congress emerging victorious with the required majority to form the government and the BJP crashing out of power, outgoing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said “the loss is not the defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

“This is not PM Modi’s defeat as he came here only for the campaign. The Congress leadership has lost in the entire country,” he told reporters near the BJP office here, adding: “It’s not correct to blame PM Modi for the BJP’s defeat in the state.”

The BJP leader said this while reacting to the Congress saying that “the BJP’s loss was PM Modi’s defeat”.

He said that all key party leaders had gathered in the BJP office and discussed the election results.

Bommai said the Karnataka unit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president has convened a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs in the next three to four days.

After that, a meeting of all the party candidates would be convened where they would discuss threadbare and work out the strategies to strengthen the party.

“There would be no rest for the party organisation and all of them would work together for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Reacting to the “fight” between Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka unit Congress president D.K. Shivakumar over the CM’s post, Bommai wished them “all the best”.

On the implementation of poll promises by the Congress, he said “first let them form the government and after that, let’s see what they will do in the first Cabinet meeting”.

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PIL in Delhi HC claims Rahul, Kejriwal made misleading statements on loan waiver for industrialists



PIL in Delhi HC claims Rahul, Kejriwal made misleading statements on loan waiver for industrialists

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Delhi High Court, charging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of allegedly making “false and misleading statements” accusing the Union Government of waiving off loans for various industrialists during 2020-2021.

The petitioner, social worker and farmer Surjit Singh Yadav, in the PIL filed through advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, has also asked the court to direct news channels – News 24 and NDTV – to take down the two political leaders’ allegedly incorrect and misleading statements from their electronic media platforms and to Central Bureau of Investigation to file a complaint, launch an investigation and prosecute the two for making such statements intending to damage country’s image and credibility.

The PIL states: “That the Petitioner came across news items in electronic and print media where news related to waiving of loan to the tune of Rs 11 lakh crore had been broadcasted on NDTV in the year 2021.

“Similarly, News24 channel had published more than two years ago that loans of 50 loan defaulters have been waived off and that loan amount was to the tune of Rs 68,000 crore which included the name of Mehul Choksi.”

“This may have negative repercussions for the nation like foreign investment getting affected, tourism getting hampered and promotion of anarchy in the nation.”

On how this downgrades the reputation of Centre, the petitioner has said that it is well known that as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI), write off is not same as waive off but writing off loans has been shown by Respondent no 2 to 5 as waiving off loans.

“This deliberate twist to the actual meaning of writing off loans by these politicians and media outlets had created confusion in the minds of readers/viewers including in the mind of the petitioner,” Yadav claimed.

He claimed that in August last year, he served legal notices on Gandhi, Kejriwal and news organisations, requesting an apology and the removal of the offending material, but received no response.

The matter is likely to be listed on Wednesday.

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Raj Cong in-charge to soon hold meeting with warring leaders in Delhi



Raj Cong in-charge to soon hold meeting with warring leaders in Delhi

Even as Rajasthan’s former deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Tuesday slammed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot saying that his leader was Vasundhara Raje and not Sonia Gandhi, party state in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has decided to call a meeting of the state leaders in the national capital, sources said.

According to the sources, the date of the meeting will be finalised soon.

The source said that Randhawa is waiting for the party’s top leadership to return from Karnataka to discuss the Rajasthan crisis.

The source also said that Randhawa has asked the senior leadership of Rajasthan and all the general secretaries and secretaries to attend the Delhi meeting.

The decision to hold the meeting in Delhi comes on a day when Pilot launched a tirade against Gehlot in Jaipur and also when former party chief Rahul Gandhi is in the state to participate in a training programme with the party workers.

Addressing a press conference in Jaipur, Pilot said, “This fact has become clear from the speech of the Chief Minister, which he delivered the day before yesterday in Dholpur.”

Pilot raised questions on Gehlot’s statement “that praised BJP leaders, but tarnished the image of the party’s own MPs and MLAs”.

On Sunday, Gehlot said that former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and two BJP leaders, namely Kailash Meghwal and Shobharani Kushwaha, helped him in saving his government.

Speaking on Gehlot’s statement, Pilot said, “Gehlot should explain why there are two faces to his statement. If he says that BJP was trying to topple the government and on the other side, he says that Raje was trying to save his government, then what does he want to say.”

He alao said that he will start his ‘Jan sangharsh padyatra’ from Ajmer to Jaipur on May 11 to highlight the issue of corruption and listen to the issues faced by the people of the state.

Pilot is continuously raising the issue of no action being taken against the corruption during BJP rule.

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Pawar snubs Sanjay Raut over ‘Saamana’ comments on NCP



Pawar snubs Sanjay Raut over ‘Saamana’ comments on NCP

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has said that he doesn’t read or give much credence to what is written in the ‘Saamana’ Group of newspapers of the ally Shiv Sena (UBT), here on Tuesday.

Referring to a passing remark in the ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’ on Monday that Pawar had failed to create a succession line in the NCP, Pawar countered by saying, “they do not know what we are doing in our party”.

“What we decide in our party is our internal matter… Our colleagues know how our party will move forward and we are satisfied with what we are achieving. They (Saamana Group) have a right to write and criticise, we don’t consider it important from our viewpoint,” declared Pawar in a direct snub at Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut.

He made it clear that in the NCP, his colleagues say many things, express different opinions and debate, but they don’t go out and publicise it as these are internal issues.

“All my colleagues are clear that tomorrow a new leadership will be ready in this party…In 1999, when we came to power with the Congress, the NCP had many new names in the cabinet like Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar, Dilip Valse-Patil, or R.R. Patil, who was a first-timer. They proved themselves,” asserted the NCP supremo.

Pawar also slammed Bharatiya Janata Party’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Congress’ former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s recent comments on the NCP.

To Fadnavis’s plea asking the voters in Karnataka to ‘send the NCP parcel’ back to Maharashtra, Pawar dismissively said that Fadnavis knows how to play word games without doing any work.

On Chavan’s allegation that ‘NCP is the BJP Team B in Karnataka’, Pawar hit back at the ally, asking what was his standing in the Congress, whether it is A, B, C, his colleagues would reveal in private.

Dwelling on the tricky issue of seat-sharing talks for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, Pawar said that he will soon meet former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state Congress chief Nana Patole in the matter and it was necessary to rope in the PWP and the Left parties in it.

“There may be differing opinions, but that doesn’t mean we have any misunderstandings,” referring to the dark murmurs in political circles on the MVA’s purported squabbles on many issues.

Pawar paid homage to the late educationist, Padma Bhushan Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil (1887-1959) on his 64th death anniversary earlier in the day at his memorial, and later addressed a meeting of students and teachers of the Rayat Education Society founded by him in 1919, which has now grown to over 700 educational institutions serving the poor in the state.

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