The BJP on Sunday targeted Congress over CBI’s handling of Ishrat Jahan encounter case, accusing it of misusing not just the investigative agency but many constitutional authorities also.
“Everyone in the country knows this truth that the Congress government has misused the CBI. Not just the CBI, but the Congress government has also tried to do the maximum misuse of other constitutional authorities in the country,” said BJP president Rajnath Singh, when asked about CBI investigations into the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old college student was killed along with three others on June 15, 2004 allegedly by a team of Crime Branch officials on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, after intelligence inputs that a group of Lashkar terrorists have plotted to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to avenge the 2002 communal riots in the state.
The BJP has been stung by reports claiming that the CBI has come with fresh evidence that Mr. Modi and the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah had prior knowledge of the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan.
Mr. Singh, after addressing a congregation of weavers in New Delhi on Sunday, also charged the Congress governments with lowering the dignity of constitutional authorities in the country.
“If anyone has done the work of lowering the dignity of constitutional authorities in the country, it is the Congress government,” he said.
Asked to respond to the Election Commission notice on BJP leader Gopinath Munde, the BJP chief said, “I have not heard Mr. Munde’s speech. But if the Election Commission has sent a notice to Mr. Munde, he will reply.”
Earlier, addressing a weavers congregation on Sunday, Mr. Singh favoured loan waiver for them on the lines of the relief extended to farmers.
He alleged that the Congress has not done enough to alleviate poverty from the country in its almost 55 years of rule and charged the ruling with conspiring to sustain poverty due to its politics.
“If the poor have remained poor, it is not because of their misfortune but because of the bad intentions of the government in power,” Mr. Singh said.
He said, “It is a conspiracy by those in power not to allow people to shed their poverty.... I feel those sitting in power think they can purchase their votes by offering them some sops before the polls.”
Mr. Rajnath promised to accord equal status to weavers and sort out their problems once BJP came to power. “Weavers and farmers will be kept on the same yardstick. We will offer easy finance of 1 to 2 per cent on loans to weavers as offered to farmers,” he said.
He also opposed cotton exports till the demand of weavers were met in the country and sought easy finance for weavers at low interest.
He also lamented the role of handloom corporations in “not being forthcoming and for not playing an effective role in serving the interests of weavers”.