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Published in the 16-30 Jun 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Najma stands exposed

Najma Heptullah It’s a matter of shame that Najma Heptullah has frittered more than Rs 2.65 crore to satiate her insatiable hunger from the Parliament’s canteen besides her foreign junkets. That’s why our politicians are known to be most corrupt. Both the Congress Party as well as the government must look into this matter seriously. 

The buzz in political circles, as well as in the public, is that the vice-chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, Najma Heptullah, may not, after all, be nominated to the Rajya Sabha neither by the Congress nor by the BJP owing to her politically immature nature and that having fully cashed upon the name of Maulana Azad there remains nothing more to be cashed. 

Recently, as a result of her cosying up to Atal Behari Vajpayee, she was rewarded with the headship of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) which she has virtually turned into her private fiefdom. What actually sealed Heptullah's fate was the abrupt and unprecedented walk-out she staged from the House while presiding over the proceedings in December, 2003. She got up from her chair and walked out in a huff, reacting angrily to an innocuous remark made by the Congress spokesperson, Kapil Sibal. 

Her tantrum came as the proverbial last straw on the camel's back with senior Congress leaders deciding to try and stymie her ambition to get a fourth six-year term in a row in the Rajya Sabha. With no record of service or popular backing to buttress her case, the Opposition is unlikely to step in to help her out.

As a senior BJP leader said, "Heptullah cannot swing even a single Muslim vote in Mumbai's Bhindi Bazar, let alone win over the Muslims for the BJP throughout the country". How true.

She has been shamefully and unjustifiably harvesting the Maulana Azad legacy and reaping out of the fact that she belongs to a minority community. She’s a bane to the Congress and a thankless individual for indulging in anti-party acts and calling names to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. During elections she even brought out advertisements in Urdu newspapers urging the Muslims to vote for the BJP. But the trick boomeranged and not one Muslim paid heed to what she had said. She completely stands exposed.

Firoz Bakht Ahmed, New Delhi 110 025

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