A bid to saffronise ICWA

NEW DELHI, AUG. 26. The former president of the Indian Council of World Affairs, Mr. Harcharan Singh Josh, today accused the Union Urban Affairs Minister, Mr. Jagmohan, of trying to ``saffronise'' Sapru House, headquarters of the ICWA, at the behest of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

``Like other institutions, Mr. Jagmohan is trying to do bhagwakaran (saffronisation) of the ICWA and Sapru House premise at the behest of the RSS,'' Mr. Josh, who was unceremoniously removed as ICWA president, told reporters here.

``They have saffronised the ICCR, ICSSR, ICHR, the Indira Gandhi Centre for Arts, and now the RSS eye has fallen on the ICWA,'' he alleged and urged all progressive and secular parties in the Rajya Sabha to stop the ordinance on the ICWA.

Calling the National Democratic Alliance Government's takeover of Sapru House as ``illegal'', Mr. Josh said two ordinances in this regard had lapsed, and the Government had promulgated a third one ``which was against the law''.

Accusing Mr. Jagmohan of bringing false and fabricated charges against him, he said the Minister was doing so to make the RSS and BJP people happy as he himself had been a member of the ICWA executive committee.

``Mr. Jagmohan was the executive committee member from 1981 to 1999 but during that period he never raised any issue of irregularities in its functioning. He never raised any objection in any of the annual general meetings, but now when he is with BJP he is raising false and fabricated charges,'' said Mr. Josh, who is also a Congress leader.

The former ICWA president said he had already challenged the takeover of Sapru House in court. The case against the promulgation of the ordinance was pending before the Supreme Court.

Describing Mr. Jagmohan as an ``opportunistic person'', Mr. Josh said the takeover of Sapru House was nothing but a vendetta against him as he had declined to join the BJP.

Describing as baseless Mr. Jagmohan's allegation that during his (Mr. Josh's) presidentship filthy Punjabi dramas were organised in Sapru House, he said, ``if he can prove that any such drama was organised during my tenure from 1986 to 2000, I will quit politics and stay away from public life.''

The Congress leader charged Mr. Jagmohan with granting Rs. 5 crores, allotted for building roads and providing electricity in west Delhi, for unauthorised colonies which was illegal. ``I would ask the President and the Prime Minister to order an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court to unearth the truth about the beneficiaries of the illegal grant,'' he said. - PTI

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Referred by:Benjamin P Kaila
Published on: 26 Aug 2001
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