The BJP leaders and workers, including the Darjeeling MP Raju Bista today joined the ceremony in Siliguri.
Dubbing as “wrong and questionable” the nomination of former Chief Justice of India (CJI), Ranjan Gogoi, to the Rajya Sabha (RS), Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Thursday said it clearly indicated that he had been useful to the current government at the Centre.
Gogoi’s nomination has definitely caused eyebrows to be raised, said the CM, adding that any sensible person would be against such a move by the Government.
Governments have to realise their responsibility, they cannot use institutions for political benefit, as appeared to be the case in Gogoi’s nomination, said Amarinder, during a conclave to mark the completion of three years of his government.
The CM drew a clear distinction between Gogoi’s nomination by the BJP-led government less than six months after retirement as Chief Justice and Ranganath Mishra’s election to the Rajya Sabha on a Congress ticket after several years of retirement from the same post. Unlike Gogoi, Mishra fought an election to win the RS seat, and that too some seven years after he retired as CJI, he pointed out.
Noting that former defence personnel, judges and others often enter politics and contest elections, the CM observed that General JJ Singh had been pitted against him by the Akalis in the last Assembly polls in Punjab. Gogoi was also entitled to get into politics, but he should have faced election after four-five years of retirement, said Amarinder.
Even though his government had nominated retired judges to various commissions, they had no political or government standing, said the CM, making it clear that he would never agree to do such a favour to a chief justice as had been apparently done for Gogoi.
Meanwhile, asserting that his government will now allow Pak-backed terrorists to foment trouble in Punjab, the CM said he had been urging the central government to be tough on Pakistan.
“This cannot go on,” he declared, adding that Punjab is not Kashmir, and was well equipped to fight back. The Army could continue fighting terror in Kashmir, but in Punjab, in addition to the BSF as the first line of defence at the borders, the 85,000 strong police force was well equipped to deal with any threat, he said, adding that the Army was also there for support as and when needed.
Taking a tough stance against Pak-sponsored terror, Amarinder said things like the Pulwama attack and the chopping of heads of the soldiers at the borders was not acceptable. “We have to be tough with Pakistan, they do not understand any other language,” he said, adding that he did not really understand the policy of the neighbouring country, which was fighting everyone on all fronts.