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What’s up Jethmalani, why are you against Modi?

At this crucial juncture of Bihar elections, noted lawyer and former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani urged the people to defeat the BJP-led NDA in the Bihar Assembly elections. Jethmalani, known for his vocal stand on various issues, urged the people to vote for Nitish Kumar, the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance of the Janata Dal-United, the RJD and the Congress. Jethmalani urges Modi must be punished for his “anti-people policies”.
Anyway, even people are unhappy with the performance of Narendra Modi government at the Centre as it has failed to keep its promises on rising prices and inflation. They are not fulfilling the promises made during the Lok Sabha polls. Tall promises were made during the election campaign, raising people’s expectations on inflation and price rise. However, after one and half year issues remained the same and we have not noticed any significant change. This government is also responsible for disturbing the secular fabric in the country with its “RSS-VHP and other right wing backed communal agenda”.

It might be a reason why Jethmalani urges that the BJP should be taught a lesson for breaching the trust of Indian and the armed forces. Democracy without education is hypocrisy without limitation. He was in Patna to lend his support to veterans fighting for OROP, said the BJP did nothing to bring back black money, and had it done so, it would have been able to meet the demands of ex-servicemen. Under fire from the grand secular alliance for his failure to bring back black money stashed abroad, he also said he had become a “victim of fraud” by playing into the hands of Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley.

Jethmalani said both the UPA and Modi-led government at the Centre did nothing to bring black money from foreign tax havens and held both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley responsible for the failure to disclose the names of persons holding the black money. “Both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley should be first arrested and prosecuted if we really want to bring back black money. Jaitley…took recourse under the garb of Double Avoidance Tax Treaty (DATT),” he alleged.

He further pointed out that German government had the names of 1,400 people who have stashed their money in tax havens abroad and the German government was ready to part with the information with the Indian government free of cost but with a rider that there should be a written request from the government.

As per a BJP task force committee, there is USD 1,500 billion, which is equivalent to Rs. 90 lakh crore, lying in tax havens. Government has not been able to bring back a single dollar in the country. He feels Bihar should be the starting point to defeat BJP. They have made Ram Jethmalani fool but the people will not be fooled in Bihar.

In 1971, the same Ram Jethmalani contested as an independent candidate from Ulhasnagar supported by the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Jan Sangh but he lost the elections. During the Emergency period of 1975–1977, he was the chairman of the Bar Association of India. He heavily criticised the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. An arrest warrant was issued against him from Kerala. The Bombay High Court stayed it when over 300 lawyers led by Nani Palkhivala appeared for him. However the stay was nullified by the famous Habeas Corpus judgement (Additional District Magistrate of Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla) and Ram Jethmalani exiled himself in Canada carrying on his campaign against the Emergency. He returned 10 months later after Emergency was lifted. While in Canada, his candidature was filed from Bombay North-West constituency. He won the election and retained the seat in 1980 General Elections, but lost to Sunil Dutt of the Indian National Congress in 1985. In the 1977 general elections after the Emergency, he ousted the serving Law Minister H.R. Gokhale from Bombay in the Lok Sabha Elections and hence started his political career as a Parliamentarian. However, he was not made law minister as Morarji Desai disapproved of his lifestyle.

He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1988. He became the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in 1996 in the Government of India led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. During the second tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he was given the portfolio of Union Minister of Urban Affairs and Employment in 1998. However on 13 October 1999, he was again sworn in as the Union Minister for Law, Justice & Company Affairs. He was asked to resign by the Prime Minister following differences with the then Chief Justice of India Adarsh Sein Anand and Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee. It is believed that Jethmalani never enjoyed the confidence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was then inducted into the Cabinet on then Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani’s insistence.

He had also announced his candidature for President of India and launched his own political fronts, the Bharat Mukti Morcha, launched as a ‘mass movement’ in 1987. In 1995 he launched his own political party called Pavitra Hindustan Kazhagam, with a motto to achieve “Transparency in functioning of Indian Democracy”. In the General Elections of 2004, he contested against Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the Lucknow constituency as an independent candidate. Indian National Congress did not field their candidates in this election. However, he lost from there. Later on in 2010, Bharatiya Janta Party gave him a Rajya Sabha ticket from Rajasthan and he was elected.

In 2012, Jethmalani wrote to then Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari, accusing opposition BJP leaders of being “silent against the huge corruption” within the ruling UPA-II government, and stated that BJP is “sick”. Jethmalani’s letter became public on the internet, and in May 2013, BJP expelled him from the party for 6 years, for having made anti-party statements. Then his son too resigned from the party and now both father – son duo are campaigning against BJP and particularly against Narendra Modi.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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