Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra today came out openly in support of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, underscoring the need for “a stable government and a strong leadership for stemming the rot” that has seeped in during the decade-long UPA rule.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP office here, Mishra, however, hastened to clarify, “I am speaking in my capacity as a representative of 1.7 million lawyers across the country. I am not expressing my support for Modi on behalf of the Bar Council of India, which is a statutory body and cannot take a political stand.”
Mishra said he will be “camping in Varanasi for a week in the near future” besides travelling to all parts of the country and meeting members of various bar associations to canvass support for Modi, whose “Gujarat model of development must be replicated everywhere to ensure country-wide progress”.
“The victory of Modi is particularly important for a place like Varanasi which is plagued by potholed roads, traffic snarls, a dysfunctional sewage system and unchecked pollution that threatens to convert the holy river Ganges into a gutter,” he said.
“I can sense that lawyers across the country have already made up their mind to vote for a stable government and a strong leadership for stemming the rot that had seeped in during the two successive tenures of the Congress-led UPA government, which allowed the malaise of corruption to fester in the name of coalition compulsions,” he said.
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“Even the judiciary would not have been spared the corruption prevailing in other spheres had the Bar Council of India not vehemently protested against provisions of Judicial Appointments Commission wherein a free hand was proposed for politicians in appointments of judges in high courts and the Supreme Court,” he alleged.
“Lawyers have always played a crucial role in bringing about a change in the country whenever required. They must rise to the occasion this time as well and help Modi in the interests of the country,” he said.
Mishra, however, ducked queries on the demand for a separate bench of the Allahabad High Court in western UP and abolition of its bench at Lucknow by re-designating it as only a revenue court, saying, “I do not wish to court controversy. Moreover, these issues have to be decided by the judiciary and the Centre, and the Bar Council does not have any role to play in these matters.”