The Indian Express – MP crisis: CM Kamal Nath meets Governor, asks for floor test

In a letter to the governor, he said, “the BJP on 08 March arranged three chartered aircraft to whisk away 19 MLAs of the Congress party to Bengaluru. Since then 19 of them are incommunicado in a resort arranged by BJP.”

New Delhi – India, 13 March 2020. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday met state Governor Lalji Tandon over the political crisis in the state triggered by the resignation of 22 rebel Congress MLAs three days ago.

Accusing the BJP of horse-trading and holding 22 Congress MLAs in captivity, Nath requested the Governor for floor test. He met the governor at around 11 am and submitted the three-page letter to him.

In a letter handed over to the governor, Nath mentioned the sequence of events from the intervening night of March 3 and March 4 to March 10, and claimed there were incidents of horse-trading during this period.

“The BJP on March 8 arranged three chartered aircraft to whisk away 19 MLAs of the Congress party to Bengaluru. Since then 19 of them are incommunicado in a resort arranged by BJP,” Nath said.

“In these disturbing circumstances, the very edifice of democracy is in danger. Trust of a transparent democratic process seems lost. It merits full investigation and enquiry, so that persons responsible for de-railing the democratic institutional process are explosed and punished,” he added.

Nath’s meeting with the governor comes amid unconfirmed reports that six ministers, said to be close to former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, will be coming to Bhopal from Bengaluru to hand over their resignation letters in person to the Assembly speaker.

Attempts to contact these ministers proved futile. Scindia joined the BJP on Wednesday, a day after quitting the Congress.

Nath had earlier said that he is confident that the Congress will win the floor test.

“I am confident that the Congress will win the floor test in the Assembly after it convenes as scheduled on 15 March. You will see that we will be able to prove our majority in the Assembly,” he told The Indian Express on Wednesday morning on the telephone from Bhopal.

In the 230 member House, the Congress has 114 MLAs and the support of four Independents, one Samajwadi Party MLA and two Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs. The BJP has 109 MLAs. Two seats are vacant.

I want Kamal Nath out, but I do not want the BJP in …..

The Tribune – Former Punjab minister quits SAD, joins rebel Akali leader Dhindsa

Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 12 March 2020. Once a close confidant of former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha quit the SAD along with his brother Maan Singh Garcha and nephew Harpreet Singh Garcha on Thursday, joining expelled party leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.

Jagdish Singh Garcha has been a two-time Kila Raipur MLA while Harpreet was a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son and former state finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa were present on the occasion when the Garchas lent support to them and quit the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son Parminder were expelled from the SAD last month for “anti-party” activities.

Commenting on the occasion, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said, “Our main aim is to free the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee from the clutches of the Badal family.”

In reply to a question, Dhindsa told reporters that many other senior Akali leaders were in touch with him.

If the various ex-Badal Dal members and the ex and current AAP members would agree to field only one unity candidate in each constituency they could send both the Maharaja and Pita ate Putr packing !

Gentbrugse Meersen – De Krook – Gent-Sint-Pieters

Gentbrugse Meersen
26 January 2020

No horses grazing

A ditch covered by weeds

Jan van Aelbroeckdreef

Jan van Aelbroeckdreef

De Krook – VOEM
30 January 2020

Dertig jaar samenleven in diversiteit
Tina De Gendt’s boek over 30 jaar VOEM
De Krook – Voem – Amsab – Vormingplus

01 February 2020

Track 10, IC to Brugge and Blankenberge

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

OFMI – Ro Khanna Calls India’s Proposed National Register of Citizens “Absurd”

Congressman warns about NRC’s potential for “extraordinary discrimination” against Muslims

Santa Clara – California – USA, 11 March 2020. Speaking at a constituent town hall at Santa Clara University, Congressman Ro Khanna denounced India’s proposed National Register of Citizens as “absurd” and warned it could lead to “extraordinary discriminations against Muslims in India.”

“You expressed a commitment towards pluralism and for protecting the rights of religious minorities in the face of rising Hindutva,” a Muslim constituent said to Khanna at the February 21 event.

“I’m wondering if you will show that commitment to your Muslim constituents by condemning the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Registry of Citizens, both of which are an extension of Hindu nationalism.” The congressman responded:

“I have spoken out against both the Citizenship Act and also the National Registry. The National Registry is absurd.

No country should have a national registry where they’re asking for people to give documentation and prove that they’re part of the country. I fear any kind of national registry could lead to extraordinary discrimination against Muslims in India.

I’ve spoken out against the Citizenship Act, just like I’ve spoken out against the ban in our country, and I said, ‘You can’t discriminate people coming into our country based on their religious faith.’ I don’t think India should be discriminating who they’re going to give expedited citizenship [to] based on faith. I think both of those policies are wrong.”

When India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party passed the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom warned that the law “enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.”

On 23 February, USCIRF further warned, “There are serious concerns that the CAA serves as a protective measure for non-Muslims in case of exclusion from a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), a proposed list of all Indian citizens.

This purpose is evident from BJP politicians’ rhetoric. With the CAA in place, Muslims would primarily bear the punitive consequences of exclusion from the NRC which could include ‘statelessness, deportation, or prolonged detention,’ according to three United Nations Special Rapporteurs.”

“America needs more people in Congress with the courage and honesty of Ro Khanna,” says Arvin Valmuci of Organization for Minorities of India. “As a Hindu-American politician, his outspokenness against the Hindu nationalist agenda that is bringing misery to so many Indians is truly historic. We urge Congressman Khanna to continue to champion the human rights of all, especially the oppressed people of India.”

Khanna’s remarks came shortly before an anti-Muslim pogrom broke out in Delhi on 23 February. Over 50 people were killed by mobs acting in collaboration with the police. The violence began after a BJP leader threatened to “take to the streets” to clear away sit-in protests against the CAA and the NRC.

“This deadly surge of religious intolerance in India is horrifying,” said Hindu-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal on February 25. “Democracies should not tolerate division and discrimination, or promote laws that undermine religious freedom. The world is watching.”

Last year, Khanna made headlines when he stated, “It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist[s], & Christians.” Hindutva is the BJP’s religious nationalist political ideology which treats non-Hindus as foreign to India.

According to India Abroad, Ritesh Tandon, who is challenging Khanna for his seat in Congress, “was motivated to run by Khanna’s alleged anti-Hindutva comments.” Referring to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh paramilitary, which is the parent group of the BJP, Tandon says his father was “a strong RSS person.”

Tandon has faced accusations that he was recruited and promoted by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, the international wing of the RSS. In October 2019, the HSS had organized a protest against Khanna over his statement against Hindutva.

“We want more than lip service from Ro Khanna,” says West Sacramento Sikh Gurdwara President Balbir Singh Dhillon.

He recalls his experience being falsely arrested in India in the 1990s. Held for two months, he was tortured in custody and only released after over 50 US congressional representatives signed a letter to the US State Department that pressured India to admit it had no proof he committed any crime.

“The Indian government’s long track record of violating human rights with impunity has escalated into the Delhi Pogrom against Muslims that we saw in late February,” says Dhillon. “The time for denouncing its atrocities without acting to prevent them passed long ago. We want Khanna to act to get the US government to sanction individuals like Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.”

Organization for Minorities of India was founded in 2006 to advance individual liberties of Christians, Buddhists, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, and all Mulnivasi people of South Asia by encouraging secularism, progressive human rights, liberation of oppressed peoples, and universal human dignity. Visit for more information.[centre/italics]

The Hindu – Government revokes detention of Farooq Abdullah

Dr Abdullah was first detained on 05 August 2019 and was arrested under the J&K Public Safety Act on 15 September 2019.

Peerzada Ashiq

New Delhi – India, 13 March 2020. The J&K administration on Friday released National Conference (NC) president and Member of Parliament, Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah, who was in detention over seven months. He was detained immediately after the Centre revoked J&K’s special status on August 5 last year.

“The J&K government has issued orders revoking detention of Dr Farooq Abdullah,” said J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal.

Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, in an order, said the detention of Dr Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA), issued on 15 September has been withdrawn, ending his detention immediately.

Dr Abdullah, 82, remained under house arrest after the government booked him under the stringent PSA and lodged him in his own house on Gupkar Road, which was designated as a sub-jail. The J&K’s home department had in December extended his detention by another three months.

Dr Abdullah’s release is the first of the three detained former chief ministers of the erstwhile State. NC vice president Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti continue to remain in detention.

Dr Abdullah was arrested in the wake of Centre’s decision to scrap J&K’s semi-autonomous status on August 5 last year.

Leaders welcome Farooq Abdullah’s release

Welcoming Dr. Abdullah’s release from detention, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted “Welcome the belated release of Dr Farooq Abdullah…his detention was a disgrace.”

Peoples Conference leader Imran Ansari too welcomed the government’s decision. He demanded the release of party leader Sajad Lone and party workers. “We welcome the release of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. And I take this opportunity to demand the release of our Chairman Mr Sajad Lone.

He is under strict house arrest after being in detention at MLA hostel for six months. We also demand release of our workers who are detained under PSA,” said Mr. Ansari said.