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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Soz on Heptulla hypocrisy

I feel sorry for Mrs Najma Heptulla, who criticised Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, creating an impression with the political class that she (Mrs Heptulla) was poised to play a game of political opportunism by supporting BJP at the hustings.

That such a senior leader would draw comparison between Congress President and Mr Vajpayee and run down the Congress Party, is deplorable and shows Mrs Heptullah in poor light. Mrs Heptulla, however, made no secret of the fact that it was all about her personal aggrandisement and not for any political reasons.

Mrs Heptulla gave a rude shock to her admirers, among the general public, by unjustifiably seeking to draw parallel to Gujarat massacres in the previous riots in India, thus giving a clean chit to the BJP. Mrs Heptulla completely forgot the fact that very authentic enquiries found that the state administration itself organised a fillip to communal violence and massacres in Gujarat. Mrs Heptulla has failed to take notice of the Supreme Court's and NHRC's response to the Gujarat carnage and its aftermath.

Strangely enough, while the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha was giving a clean chit to the BJP on Gujarat riots, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha was felicitating the editor of the Indian Express at Vigyan Bhawan, for very fair and bold reporting on Gujarat carnage.

Seasoned political observers feel that should Mrs Heptulla join BJP, she would soon learn to her horror that the community she professes to represent will be on the other side of the fence for substantially important political reasons.

Prof Saifuddin Soz, MP

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