Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched an offensive against rights activist and physician Binayak Sen after the Planning Commission made him a member on a key committee.
A senior government official confirmed that neither Chief Minister Raman Singh nor his ministerial colleagues would attend the plan panel meetings. Sen was convicted on charges of sedition by a trial court here for alleged links with Maoists, raising a hue and cry in civil society and was finally granted bail by the Supreme Court.
"The decision is purely a move to protest the appointment of Sen in the plan panel because he has not been cleared of sedition and is currently just out on a bail granted by the Supreme Court," the official informed.
BJP sources say the state party unit has decided to step up the offensive against Sen for his inclusion in the plan panel.
"The party is dead against the nomination of a person (Sen) in the plan panel who was convicted for sedition. We will hold a series of peaceful protest meetings," a senior party leader said.
The BJP state unit medical cell staged a sit-in already in Raipur on Sunday where its officebearers asked the plan panel to reconsider its decision.
The Planning Commission has nominated Sen as a member of its Steering Committee on Health.
The trial court here had convicted Sen for sedition in December for his links with Maoists. Sen had moved against the conviction in Chhattisgarh High Court based in Bilaspur town and also sought bail but the court rejected his bail in February though the Supreme Court granted him bail last month.