Rajat Sharma


AKB30 The tug-of-war in Lahore between Pakistan Rangers, police and Imran Khan’s supporters continued for the second day amidst high-voltage drama on Wednesday. There were pitched battles outside the former PM’s residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park, with mobs stoning police, and the latter firing tear gas shells. At least 54 policemen and eight civilians were injured in clashes. There were clashes during the night and again on Wednesday morning, while Imran Khan was holed up inside his fortified residence. Police wants to arrest Imran Khan in order to comply with court’s arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case. Imran Khan’s lawyers have filed a petition in Islamabad High Court seeking quashing of arrest warrant. Former PM Imran Khan is very much aware that there is presently no system worth the name working in Pakistan, and majority of the citizens do not have any faith in law courts. Most Pakistanis feel, the real power lies with the army, and Imran Khan is fighting against the Army. It was the army which helped Imran Khan to become PM, and the army later unseated him. Both Imran and the army are now locked in close combat. This is no secret. In Pakistan, most developments take place in the open. That is why Imran Khan continues to defy and refuse to appear in court despite issue of production warrant. Imran Khan has told his supporters to fight in the streets if he is put in jail. When Imran was PM, Nawaz Sharif was put in jail and Sharif’s supporters were out in the streets. This is what Pakistan politics is all about. Neither sides have no empathy for the public, which is groaning under price rise and is staring at economic disaster.


A BJP MLA Lakhendra Kumar Raushan on Tuesday broke his mike during question hour inside Bihar assembly. He had asked three supplementary questions on Anganwadi workers, and wanted to ask a fourth question, but was disallowed. The Speaker did not allow him, and his mike was kept on mute. In the heat of anger, the MLA broke his mike. Later, the House suspended him for two days for this gross misconduct. The video clearly showed Raushan breaking his mike in anger. Had he pleaded guilty, the matter could have rested, but he later tried to cover up his mistake. BJP MLAs tried to defend him and staged walkout. It would have been better if senior party leaders had tried to persuade him to tender apology.


On a day, when Rajya Sabha members, led by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal, were congratulating the composer and directors of ‘RRR’ and ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ for winning Oscar awards, the leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said, “It must not happen that BJP members start giving credit to Narendra Modi for this. We should also remember that the Oscar winners are from South India.” An angry Jaya Bachchan rose up and said, “it doesn’t matter where they are from: North, East, South or West. They are Indians. I stand here with pride and respect for our film fraternity who have represented our country many times and won many awards…The market of cinema is here, it is not in America. This is just the beginning.” Jaya Bachchan is right when she says film award winners should not be categorized into North and South. Nor should it be categorized into Congress or BJP. It is a historic moment that Indian film makers have won Oscars after 94 years, and the Upper House of Parliament congratulated them.


On Wednesday, MPs from 18 opposition parties marched towards Enforcement Directorate office in Delhi, but were stopped on the way by police, which has put barricades. Trinamool Congress MPs did not join this march. Similarly, on Tuesday, while opposition MPs staged protests demanding JPC probe into Adani controversy, they appeared to be divided. Congress MPs staged protest outside Parliament gate, Trinamool Congress MPs sat in protest outside Gandhi statue, while AAP and Bharat Rashtra Samithi MPs sat in protest against ED raids and arrests in the Delhi liquor scam. While all the opposition leaders agree that it is impossible to counter the BJP if they remain divided, protests at three different places clearly underline lack of opposition unity. Though opposition leaders try to put up a united face out of fear of Narendra Modi, bickerings start when the question arises about the PM candidate. Congress leaders want Rahul Gandhi to become the PM candidate, while TMC wants Mamata Banerjee to lead the opposition front. Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao has also put forth his claim. Arvind Kejriwal considers himself to be the best alternative to Narendra Modi. Naturally, the fight is over the throne, and lack of unity in opposition camp appears again and again.

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