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Home > News > Report

Taslima row: 'BJP indulging in vote bank politics'

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | November 26, 2007 15:34 IST
Last Updated: November 26, 2007 17:32 IST

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Taslima wants to return to Kolkata, waits for Bengal govt's nod

Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist denied that the West Bengal government had anything to do with controversial Bangladeshi writer Talima Nasreen moving from her temporary residence in Kolkata to Jaipur.

Addressing a press conference, he wondered how the media was asking questions only about Taslima but is not writing a word about the return of celebrated painter M F Husain who has been forced to stay away from his land of his birth because of threats to his life.

"The Bharatiya Janata Party and all other parties who are raising the issue of Taslima Nasreen [Images] are induling in vote bank politics by not uttering a word in favour of Husain," Yechury alleged.

"Let me clarify that the state government had nothing to do with sudden movement of the author from Kolkata to Jaipur. Please read the news stories in some of the leading news paper where detailed accounts of her departure are given. Her flight was booked, her hotel was booked and she flew to Jaipur. As far as the claims of the Rajasthan government that it had not been consulted, it would be dealt with by the government of West Bengal," he said.

Yechury disagreed with the suggestion made by former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] that Taslima Nasreen should not be allowed to write while she is in India on temporary visa given by the Central government.

"I personally feel that no restriction should be placed on her writings. As far as she is concerned, the Union government has to take a decision where she is best secured. She had been living in West Bengal for last three years. So why will we tell her to move out now?" he asked.

When mediapersons said that she has expressed her desire to move back to Kolkata, he said it was for the Union government to take a decision on the matter and that the state government would come into picture later on.

Yehcury avoided answering questions and sought shelter behind the provisions of the Constitution in regard to those guests from other nations who seek a refuge in India as their life is under threat in their own country.

Meanwhile, deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra denied the charges that his party indulging in vote bank politics on the Taslima issue.

Speaking to, Malhotra said that the Left was making allegations as its so called secularism has been exposed.

"We kept Taslima in Jaipur despite the fact that we had no prior information about her arrival in the state. And if the Union government decides that she should stay in Jaipur, our government in Rajasthan will host her and make adequate security arrangements to ensure her safety. We are awaiting for directives from the Central government," he said.

He rubbished the CPI-M claim that the party was stalling painter Husain's return to India.

"He may be living in Dubai, but he keeps coming to India," he claimed.