Congress' Sanjay Jha, AAP's Sanjay Singh hit out at BJP

Updated: Feb 24, 2020, 07:35 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Cong's Sanjay Jha and AAP's Sanjay Singh haul ruling BJP over hot coals in spirited sessions where inconvenient truths were stated

Anil Dharker and Sanjay Jha during the Citizenship lecture. Pic/ Atul Kamble
Anil Dharker and Sanjay Jha during the Citizenship lecture. Pic/ Atul Kamble

The current powder keg topic of citizenship was the focus at a lecture-discussion called 'Indian Citizenship in our times' with Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha and journalist-writer Anil Dharker as speakers at a venue in Worli on late Friday night. The lecture saw a very well-heeled audience listening to Jha and Dharker spar on the subject. Jha gave a short background of who is a citizen (if you have voting rights you are a citizen), in the context of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and went on to say, "The current government is running scared of the 'daadi maas' of Shaheen Bagh."

Detention centre

Trying to illustrate how draconian the CAA-NPR (National Population Register)-NRC (National Register of Citizens) was, Jha, said, "I may be in a detention centre because of the discrepancy in spelling my name on my birth certificate and passport," to which Dharker shot back saying, "Nobody is going to detention centre."

Dharker also punctured Jha's statements about NPR saying that though he was correct that a question existed about where one's parents were born, "The officer is going to take your word for that, they are not going to ask you for proof. Shed your Congress hat Sanjay Jha, the truth is that the officials will accept your answers." Dharker continued as Jha claimed that a Muslims would go to a detention centre, while Hindus get citizenship. "You are assuming a bias," he told Jha.

Hindu Rashtra?

Jha then called the current BJP government buttressing his claims through different examples, "Authoritarian, fascist and blatantly communal, one which has a larger Hindutva project and which wants to make this country into a Hindu Rashtra." Dharker though questioned Jha, "How many Muslims are in detention camps?"

The sticky question was Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has agreed to the CAA and NPR in the state. "Will the Congress exit the Maharashtra alliance now?" Jha was asked. "States with the Congress at the helm have rejected CAA. There is great diversity in India. You know Gulzar is a Sikh he is not a Muslim, though he is often mistakenly assumed as one, because of the beautiful ghazals he writes this is the plurality of India," Jha said. However, Dharker quickly said, "This is not about Gulzar, answer the question. Will the Congress exit the MVA?"

AAP takes aim

Yet another Sanjay — this time Sanjay Singh, a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took aim at the BJP at the Press Club in South Mumbai, in a separate interaction on Friday evening. Singh said, "The BJP practised the politics of hate. AAP's governance is that of work. We empower people by giving them light, electricity and water. These are real issues and this is true nationalism. People do not want bhashan (Speeches), instead, they want raashun (Food)."

Answering a question about the Maharashtra alliance, he said, "We are with any alliance that can defeat the BJP. However that alliance must work, otherwise, people will rightly say all alliances are opportunistic."

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