Italian Job

Italian Job

Since Sonia Gandhi's ascendancy in the Congress, the Sangh Parivar has never lost the chance to allege a conspiracy behind anything Italian. On the kickbacks in the VVIP chopper deal, the Organiser cover story asserts that "whenever there is involvement of Italian companies or individuals striding the corridors of power in India there is a lurking suspicion that the Congress president will take a lenient view" and cites the example of the alleged leniency towards the Italian marines involved in the killing of Indian fishermen. The story claims that the "needle of suspicion points to Sonia Gandhi" because the VVIP chopper deal is reminiscent of Bofors. In its editorial, Panchjanya asks if the investigating agencies loosen their grip when the allegations are linked to Italy.

The Organiser cites irregularities in the CWG and the 2G scam to wonder whether former air chief S.P. Tyagi was a "fall guy like Kalmadi and Raja", because "the real culprit is always behind the curtains". It also underscores how "Sheila Dikshit, Jaipal Reddy, Kumari Shelja were not probed in the Commonwealth Scam to shield the real beneficiaries of the scam. Kalmadi was the fall guy. Raja was made the fall guy in the 2G", while the government dragged its feet over "Coalgate". So the Organiser apprehends there could be a "big plot to shield the real culprit".

AFTER AFZAL

Having missed out on responding to Afzal Guru's hanging in their last editions, the Parivar journals have sought to compensate for that in their latest issues. A column in the Organiser attacks J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for his reaction, describing it as a "provocative outburst... to encourage separatists". It reminds readers that Guru's "death penalty was judicial verdict, delay, timing of execution (was a) political gaffe".

The column, however, justifies the "unacceptable secrecy" in carrying out the execution, given the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana, sentenced to death in the Beant Singh assassination case. "Extremists in Punjab raised a hue and cry over his imminent hanging. Chief Minister P.S. Badal rushed to Delhi to persuade the government to postpone the hanging", apart from the judicial challenge to the rejection of the clemency plea holding up the implementation of the sentence. "But for the secrecy in Guru's hanging, it might have taken a similar route," Shyam Khosla argues.

HINDU SIEGE

The "raw deal" being meted out to Hindus has been the foundation of the Sangh Parivar's campaigns. Recent incidents have provided it an opportunity to emphasise this. The stampede at the Allahabad railway station has been used by the Organiser in its editorial to claim "Hindus get a raw deal under UPA-SP" regimes at the Centre and in UP respectively. Both weeklies have trained their guns against UP's Urban Development Minister Azam Khan, in-charge of Kumbh, with the Organiser calling him "a Muslim minister" who could not be expected to be "empathetic, involved and committed to the pilgrimage". Pravin Togadia, in Panchjanya, asks why no Hindu is made chairman of the Haj committee. But it is Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks about "saffron terror" that continue to make the Parivar feel under siege. The Organiser has published a "counter probe" by S. Gurumurthy to assert that the UPA is "fabricating terror probe against the RSS" in the Samjhauta case. He cites claims made in the resolution of the Committee on Sanctions of the UNSC, the admission by Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik that "Pakistani terrorists were involved", with a caveat that "some Pakistan-based Islamists had been hired by Lt Colonel Purohit to carry out the Samjhauta Express attack" to reject Shinde's remarks.

Compiled by Ravish Tiwari

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