Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Advani against withdrawal of AFSPA, dilution of RTI

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Thiruvananthapuram: Expressing concern over national security and growing corruption, senior BJP leader L K Advani on Saturday strongly opposed the move to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir and dilute the RTI Act.

“Nothing should be done to weaken the position of Armed Forces in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr Advani, whose ‘Jan Chetna Yatra entered the 19th day on Saturday,’ said here.

The armed forces had made remarkable contributions so far in facing the enemies there and ‘I don’t think, the Armed Forces Special Power Act needs to be withdrawn,” he said, adding the case of Manipur has to be examined separately.

Referring to the move to dilute the RTI Act, the BJP leader said, ”we are opposed to any kind of change in the law.” Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh’s talk of a relook at the Act could be due to a ‘virtual civil war among senior ministers of the Centre. Though the UPA government had once projected RTI as one of its major achievements, now they are trying to have a relook at it as some corruption exposes had materialised through the RTI.

Stating the country was in a state of drift as a series of scams, scandals and massive corruption had become the defining feature of the UPA government, Mr Advani said it was for the first time union ministers had been dropped and later jailed because of corruption.

Advani said those who had committed massive irregularities and caused serious loss of public revenue were being defended and protected in the most shameful manner.

Pointing out the Congress could not wash its hands off for the corruption indulged in by coalition partners, he said the role of Senior Congress Ministers in the whole episode should be probed throughly by the CBI.

”However, this request has not been heeded to by the Prime Minister so far due to compulsions of coalition politics.

”We are also in a coalition and such matters should come into play only in matters of policy and not in terms of integrity,” he said, adding the attempt was to make coalition partners escape from corruption charges.

Asked if the BJP had the locus standi to take on the Congress on corrutpion when former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa was in Jail, Mr Advani said he had ever spared anybody and had given him position on Karnataka.”I have nothing more to say on that.”

On a question whether his ‘Jan Chetna’ Yatra was meant to project himself as a Prime Ministerial candidate, he said the party would take a stand only at the time of election.

Asked if the party was looking for any alliances in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Mr Advani said, ” we don’t wish to have any alliance in the state because we know who are the others.” (PTI)

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