Cool Breeze: Wani divides the left

Cool Breeze: Wani divides the left

By PRIYA SAHGAL | 24 July, 2016


There seems to be a full blown war amongst the left lobby post the Burhan Wani episode. For it seems that many of the left wing talking heads have problems with Umar Khalid and Kavita Krishnan for their apparent sympathy for Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen recruiter who was eliminated last fortnight by the security forces. Khalid, a JNU student already facing charges for sedition, earned the ire of his fellow comrades when he recently compared Wani to Che Guevara; while Krishnan, a politburo member of the CPI(ML) has termed the killing “extra judicial”. Other left wing leaders are not too comfortable with the glorification/justification of a terrorist recruiter, and most especially with the Guevara comparison.


Expect to hear more noise on the Bring Back Kohinoor campaign closer to the Punjab polls. The Central government recently held a high level meeting this week at Jawahar Bhawan, discussing ways and means of bringing back the Kohinoor diamond. This was attended by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma. The historic diamond, if you recall, was confiscated by the British after the conquest of Punjab in 1849 and shipped off to England. Whether the government is successful in getting it back or not, it still makes an interesting poll optic to step up the campaign right on the eve of the Punjab Assembly elections.


Speculation is rife as to whom Arvind Kejriwal will prop up as his party’s CM face in Punjab. Initially, the speculation was that he would resign from Delhi making Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia the Delhi CM and take over the Punjab campaign, since unlike Delhi, Punjab has full statehood. But Punjab’s former CM, Captain Amardinder Singh, who is leading the Congress campaign, nipped that one in the bud when he termed Kejriwal as an “outsider who essentially belongs to Haryana”. And given the acrimonious history between Punjab and Haryana, Kejriwal has decided to sit this one out, for now. But he still needs a CM face and after Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation from the BJP there is widespread speculation that he will join AAP and be propped as its CM face. But there is a catch here too, for Sidhu is still to be completely cleared in a case of culpable homicide where he is accused of killing Gurnam Singh in a fit of road rage. Although he has been cleared by the trial court, he was convicted by the High Court and his appeal is now pending in the Supreme Court. The question now is how will Kejriwal handle a CM face facing criminal accusations?



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