Congress on Thursday said Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has threatened a senior woman journalist who had written an article on Sardar Patel that was critical of the Sangh’s perception about the leader who unified a mass of princely states into Indian Union at the time of Independence.
Congress spokesman Ajay Maken told reporters in New Delhi that he had conveyed to home minister Sushilkumar Shinde concerns expressed by the journalist and has requested him to probe her complaint. He said she had given full details about the threats.
He said journalists in Gujarat were being intimidated through various means for writing articles critical of the government.
“Media will lose freedom of expression if Modi comes to power,” Maken said, while seeking to paint a grim picture of the working of institutions in the state.
“There is no fully-functional State Human Rights Commission in Gujarat. Barring a chairman it has no other official,” he said.
Attacking Modi for his frequent attacks on Congress, Maken said, “He doesn’t know where Takshashila is and whether Alexander the Great crossed river Sutlej or not. He lacks decorum and he is all arrogance.”
Criticising the BJP’s PM candidate for “trying to appropriate” the legacy of Patel, Maken said, “Modi must first follow Sardar Patel’s principles to be able to claim his legacy.” Maken’s comments came minutes after foundation stone for a giant statue of Patel, the highest in the world, was laid in Gujarat by BJP patriarch LK Advani and Modi.
“They raise a hell over the functioning of Parliament but Congress MLAs in Gujarat are frequently expelled for raising their voices over issues. You get to see the live proceedings of Parliament but you never witness Gujarat assembly’s working,” he said.