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BJP leaders praised BBC when it suited them, claims Owaisi on IT surveys at broadcaster’s offices

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AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday attacked the central government over the I-T department’s survey operation at BBC offices, saying when it suited the BJP during the Emergency period (1975-77) their leaders used to praise the foreign broadcaster.

He stressed that the freedom of press was very important for a functional democracy, while concurring with the statement issued by the Editors Guild of India, condemning the raids.

The AIMIM chief expressed hope that BBC will not be pressurised and will continue to tell the truth.

“When it suited the BJP during Emergency period, their leaders used to praise the BBC. I am sure that the BBC will continue to tell the truth to the people. The timing is absolutely wrong and that is why the Editors Guild issued a right statement condemning the raids,” the Hyderabad MP told reporters here reacting to queries on the I-T survey against BBC India..

The Income Tax department survey against BBC India continued for the second day today with sleuths understood to be making copies of electronic and paper-based financial data of the organisation.

The tax department had launched surveys on Tuesday at the Delhi and Mumbai offices of the media house along with at least two linked premises as part of a probe into alleged tax evasion against the British broadcaster in India.

The action comes weeks after the broadcaster aired a two-part documentary, “India: The Modi Question”.

Reacting to another query on Centre’s decision to appoint retired Supreme Court judge S Abdul Nazeer, who was part of the 2019 Ayodhya verdict, as Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Owaisi said there is no constitutional bar on appointing anyone to the honourable post of Governor, but wondered why the retired judge accepted the post.

“Now if some doubts arise in the minds of common people that the biggest litigant in this country is the government. Now, after your retirement, you are given a post by the same government, who is the biggest litigant and you were presiding over that litigation… so, some doubts might arise in the mind of a common man. I don’t know whether those doubts are genuine or not,” he said.

“So, these doubts should not have arisen and this will lead to so many questions in future. I don’t know why the honourable retired judge has accepted this post because as a judge he was allotted a house and every facility. It is for the BJP to answer this question.” .

Justice (retired) Nazeer was part of the five-judge Constitution bench which had in November 2019 cleared the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for a mosque in a different location.

Owaisi also welcomed the top court’s appointment of its former judge Justice L Nageswara Rao to oversee the upcoming elections of the office bearers of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).

“It is a good thing. HCA elections should be held at the earliest. If elections are held genuinely, meritorious young cricketers of Hyderabad who are performing well will get opportunities,” he added.


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