WHILE PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders across the country observed a daylong fast on Thursday over “washout” of parliamentary proceedings, not a single senior leader of the party in Chandigarh turned up to join their senior leadership in the hunger strike.
Justifying her absence from the fast, a release, issued by MP Kirron Kher’s office, stated that even though the MP had left for London on Thursday morning, she had asked city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon and Additional Solicitor General Satya Pal Jain to observe the fast. However, both Tandon and Jain preferred to give the strike a miss. Only a few members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and some BJP councillors sat at the Sector 7/8 roundabout and observed fast from 10 am till 6 pm in the evening.
“Kher left for London today for the Commonwealth Parliamentarians Conference as she is the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentarians Steering Committee. This date was decided much earlier. So, as the government has sent her for the conference, she could not get out of it. She had asked Satya Pal Jain ji and Sanjay Tandon ji to sit on fast,” stated the release.
Sanjay Tandon told Chandigarh Newsline that since he had undergone surgery, it was not possible for him to sit on fast. Satya Pal Jain said, “I am not in town as I am returning from Ahmedabad. I will be able to reach Chandigarh only by evening. So, I couldn’t observe the fast. The MP had spoken to me but I told her about my absence.”
BJP Mayor Davesh Moudgil, too, did not join the protest. He told Chandigarh Newsline that he had returned from Indore only on Thursday.
A release, issued by the BJP and BJYM, stated that they had “organised a fast in Chandigarh to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fast against the unruly behaviour of the opposition and not allowing Parliament to function properly”.
Among those who joined the hunger strike were former mayors Asha Jaswal and Arun Sood, organisation general secretary Dinesh Kumar, Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta, Kalka MLA Latika Sharma and senior deputy mayor Gurpreet Dhillon.
Chandigarh BJYM president Gaurav Goel, who sat in daylong protest, said the opposition was not allowing Parliament to function properly. “Many important bills, which were to be passed this session, have been put on hold because of the undemocratic conduct of the opposition parties, especially the Congress,” he stated.