Inspired by AAP, Jharkhand govt starts Atal Mohalla Clinics across 17 districts


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) may not see eye to eye but when it comes to policies, even the saffron party accepts and appreciates the ambitious health scheme of the Mohalla Clinics launched by the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi-NCR in 2015.

After Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, and Karnataka, the Jharkhand government, too, adopted the concept of the Mohalla Clinics. The concept was launched by the Jharkhand government in a ceremony on August 16 on the first death anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Mohalla Clinic in Jharkhand has been renamed as Atal clinic.

The government has launched 25 clinics in 17 districts across the state. Chief Minister Raghubar Das was visibly pleased and said that this is the best way to pay tribute and rich homage to the departed leader on his death anniversary.

The clinic, which has already started operating, will facilitate the patients with consultancy, diagnostic tests, and dispensary. “When we were at the centre, at least 26 patients received consultancy and they were happy,” one of the doctors said.

Principal Secretary of the health department, Nitin Kulkarni had earlier said that the features of the clinic are more or less similar to the Mohalla Clinics operating in Delhi-NCR. The only hurdle is fewer doctors in Jharkhand. Jharkhand has a ratio of one doctor per 10,000 patients. While the WHO vision 2020 demands one doctor per 1,000 patients.

6 held for pelting stones at BJP lawmaker’s car in Ranchi


Police in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi have arrested six men for allegedly attacking the BJP’s Rajya Sabha lawmaker Samir Oraon’s vehicle with stones on the outskirts of the city on Monday, officials said on Tuesday.

The arrests on Tuesday morning came after Oraon lodged the first information at the Itki police station after the incident near Gadgaon area.

“Six persons – Gulam Sarvar, Arman Mansoori, Sohrab Mansoori, Aryan Mansoori, Irfan Mansoori and Umesh Lakra – have been arrested in this connection,” said Itki police station in-charge Prithvi Sender.

“All the accused used to smoke marijuana at their fixed base on the road flank. They have confessed that one of their friends pelted stone on the vehicle but he is absconding,” Sender said.

He added, “We are investigating the case further to ascertain if it was a coincidence or a planned activity.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader was coming back from Lohardaga district after attending the Budhu Bhagat Football Tournament when he was attacked. On his way back at around 8.30pm, some men started pelting stones on his Scorpio SUV. The parliamentarian and other passengers escaped unhurt.

“It appeared that bullets were being fired from all sides. We speeded up the vehicle to escape and finally took a halt at a petrol station. We then informed the police,” Oraon said.

He added, “We were six people sitting in the vehicle, including Binod Kumar Bhagat, the leader of Jharkhand movement, and my brother Alok Oraon. But we all escaped unhurt.”

The member of Parliament said they were escorted by a police team to Ranchi. He also said he doesn’t know why he was targeted and who the attackers were.

“It can’t be deduced for sure that I was the target. It may be a coincidence but it’s a serious issue and ought to be investigated thoroughly, “ he said.

In Jharkhand, BJP poised to gain by default as Opposition is in disarray


From all appearances, the Jharkhand Assembly polls later this year look like a cinch for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). If the Lok Sabha election outcome is a hot lead — the National Democratic Alliance won 12 of the 14 seats and secured a vote share of 55.29 per cent— the BJP and its partners, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), can stage an encore in this neck of the woods that seldom gives a winner an absolute majority in the legislature.

Jharkhand has an Opposition that a ruling party would dream of. In this case, the BJP and the AJSU (the LJP does not have a legislator) governed for five years after winning the 2014 elections with a bare majority. “It is the most conducive Opposition a party in power can hope for. Even if people search for an alternative, they can’t find one. The BJP gains by default,” a Ranchi-based veteran political observer said.

The BJP’s Jayant Sinha, Hazaribagh MP and a former central minister, remarked: “The Opposition alliance doesn’t have a leader, an ideology, a common minimum programme or the skills to work together. People saw through this hotchpotch combine.” The “combine” comprised the Congress, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) or JVMP, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Recent developments support the observations on the Opposition’s plight. Jharkhand Pradesh Congress chief Ajoy Kumar quit his post on Friday, accusing some colleagues of indulging in corrupt practices and promoting their own interests over the party’s and said “worst criminals look better” than them. A few days ago, Kumar was roughed up allegedly by allegiants of his rivals in the party, Subodh Kant Sahay, former Union minister, and Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu, Rajya Sabha MP.

The RJD split vertically, which gave birth to the RJD (Democratic), led by Gautam Sagar Rana. The JVMP, helmed by former BJP chief minister Babulal Marandi, suffered a setback after its MLA and Marandi lieutenant, Pradip Yadav, was jailed on an attempted rape charge. The JMM, the mainspring of the Opposition grouping, hit a rough patch after its patriarch Shibu Soren was defeated in the Dumka Lok Sabha seat, his fief, for a third time and his son and heir apparent, Hemant, led the coalition to a defeat in the last state polls.

With a spring in its step, the BJP encapsulated its target in the “Mission 65 plus” slogan, based on the fact that in the parliamentary polls, it led in 63 of the 81 Assembly constituencies. In 2014, the BJP and the AJSU together won 40 seats. Shivpujan Pathak, the BJP’s state media minder, claimed: “The ambience hasn’t changed. Our biggest achievement is we offered Jharkhand its first stable government lasting five years. Before 2014, there were instability and Maoist attacks. Under our government, there is inclusive development, fuelled by a double engine because we have a government at the Centre too.”

According to Sinha, the “double engine-driven growth” was a force multiplier in at least three sectors. Under the Ujjwala Yojana, a targeted scheme to provide cooking gas connections to BPL households, the Jharkhand government distributed free burners, with the first costless cylinder; it plans to hand a second cylinder shortly so that women do not revert to the “chulha” if the wait for a refill gets long and uncertain. Second, the Ayushman Bharat Health Protection scheme was universalised to cover any person having a ration card. “In effect, two-thirds of Jharkhand’s population are covered,” said Sinha. Third, the Rs 6,000 annual minimum income support to farmers under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi was enhanced by the state government — additional Rs 5,000 per acre to farmer who owned less than an acre, not as a loan or an amount to be redeemed. The scheme was projected to benefit nearly 2.3 million small and marginal farmers who already received interest-free loans and a crop insurance cover.

However, even BJP sources conceded there were “challenges” to face and loopholes to plug. The Santhal Pargana region, accounting for 18 Assembly seats, is on the BJP’s radar because of concerns that tribal voters may turn to the JMM and the Congress for succour. “Our government is backward caste-driven,” a senior BJP leader said. Chief Minister Raghubar Das is from the backward caste Vaish community.

Memories of 2016 still anger tribals. That year, Das amended the Chotanagpur and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Acts to permit the acquisition of tribal-owned land for “development”. These Acts proscribed the transfer of tribal land to non-tribal people and favoured community ownership. After huge protests, the government withdrew the amendments in 2017.

The BJP sought to assuage tribal people’s sentiments by resorting to symbolism. It kicked off 2019 with a 15-day campaign to collect soil from the villages of pre-Independence martyrs and build a statue of tribal legend Birsa Munda on the old jail campus in Ranchi. BJP President Amit Shah visited Munda’s village, Ulihatu, to felicitate his descendants.

Will the gestures help? A central leader’s answer was: “Jharkhand’s demography is diverse. The BJP has to portray itself as an inclusive entity and not a sectional one.”

Crimes against women on the rise in Bihar, MLA says incidents can’t be brought to zero


Recent weeks have seen a spurt in the rate of crimes against women in the state of Bihar which has put the glaring spotlight on the police and political machinery here. While opposition parties have upped the pressure on the government, BJP MLA Arun Sinha said that such crimes can be reduced but cannot be eliminated completely.

The political uproar in Bihar comes in the backdrop of rise in crimes against women with three incidents in the recent past adding fuel to fire. In a state where the crime graph has been steadily on the rise, incidents against women too have been reported. In one incident, three men allegedly raped a minor girl and then tried to kill her in Chapra. While cops arrested two of the accused, the third managed to flee. The minor is in a critical condition at PMCH Hospital.

In a separate incident, the body of a 16-year-old girl was recovered in a mutilated condition in Nalanda’s Baellor village. Cops say that the head was beaten with bricks in an attempt to conceal the identity of the victim who may have been raped before she was killed.

In the third gruesome incident. a minor girl was kept inside a hotel room for four days and repeatedly raped in Muffasil district of the state.

These three incidents, in particular, have inflamed political tensions with Congress spokesperson Rajesh Rathore saying that girls and women are not safe under the government of CM Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi. “There are Nirbhaya-like incidents happening in Bihar everyday and the government is silent,” he said. RJD’s Mrityunjay Tiwari also echoed similar thoughts and said that the message of good governance is false.

In the government’s defence, JDU’s Rajeev Ranjan admitted that the recent crimes against women have been shocking. BJP’s Sinha, however, courted controversy while mounting a counter. “Such crimes can be brought down but cannot be eliminated completely,” he said. Sinha also appealed to people to come out and report such crimes.

There have been 605 rape cases which have been reported in Bihar between January and May of 2019. The maximum number of these have been in Patna – 41.

In 2018, 1475 cases of rape were reported across Bihar while 1195 cases in 2017 and 1008 cases were reported in 2016.

JMM holds youth rally against Govt policies


In an attempt to intensify its attack on ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its “wrong employment policy”, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) held a ‘Yuva Aakrosh Rally’ to demand jobs for local and tribal youths in all district head quarters across the State including the State Capital on Monday.

The party organised the march to catch attention of youths and students before the State Assembly Election which is scheduled in the end of this year. A large numbers of youths participated in the march.

The march led by JMM Executive president and former Chief Minister of the State, Hemant Soren and it started from Ranchi College Football Ground and crossing through Radium Road, Kutchery Chowk and finally ended at Raj Bhawan and culminated in a public meeting

Addressing the crowd at the Raj Bhawan during public meeting, Soren said that the party called ‘Yuva Aakrosh Rally’ against wrong job policies of the State Government, which resulted in employment of outsiders and forced the youths of the State to migrate to earn their living. “The State Government’s job policy is completely against the local and tribal of the State, during the tenure of present State Government the local and tribal of the State has not been given jobs in any of the State Government’s department and all the jobs were sold to outsiders,” he added.

Hitting hard on the government for its wrong job policies the former Chief Minister said that the government is playing with the future of the youths and the students to make a particular section happy. During the last five years the State Government has not been successfully completed a single recruitment through Jharkhand Public Service Commission, he added

Announcing the party’s stand if voted to power in the upcoming State Assembly Elections, Soren said that the party will constitute a special job policy for the local and tribal of the State. “The party will provide 75 per cent reservation to local and tribal to jobs of private companies which are settled in the State. The party will also make provision to give 50 per cent reservation to women in all State Government’s job,” he added.

“The party will start recruitment in mission mode in the first year of its tenure to fill all five lakhs vacant posts in the State Government’s various departments and those who are working as contractual employee of the State Government for a long time will also be regularised,” said Soren.

It has also been announced at the meeting that the local will get priority in tender of up to Rs 25 crore of all State Government’s contract.

Almost all senior leader of the party were present in the march.

BJP Demands Name Change Of Bihar Railway Station To Nalanda Or Rajgir



A BJP member today made a demand in Rajya Sabha to name the Bakhtiyarpur Railway Station in Bihar after famous Buddhist tourist spots, saying it was a matter of concern that oppressor Bakhtiyar Khalji who destroyed Nalanda University was still being glorified.

Gopal Narayan Singh (BJP) demanded that Railways immediately change the name of Bakhtiyarpur Railway Station to Nalanda or Rajgir, saying Khalji had destroyed the world-famed Nalanda University and killed 2,000 to 3,000 Buddhist monks.

He said the magnitude of destruction could be gauged from the fact that books of the university kept burning for two to three years.

He said burnt books are still being recovered in fresh excavations in 6 km area around the university and the government should immediately remove the name of the oppressor from all such places.

Raising another issue, Prashant Nanda (BJD) demanded a masterplan for conservation and protection of world famous Konark Temple in Odihsa, a UNESCO heritage site.

Samir Oraon (BJP) raised the issue of neglect of tribals even after over 70 years of Independence and demanded that a separate autonomous university for tribals be set up in Jharkhand.

BJP kicks off preparations for Jharkhand Assembly polls


Ranchi, July 29 (IANS) Speculations are rife that Jharkhand polls, due early 2020, may take place along with Haryana and Maharashtra by the end of the year. The ruling BJP has not officially said anything but has begun its preparations, ensuring benefits of schemes reach people and launching a membership drive.

The tenure of Haryana and Maharashtra assemblies are ending on November 2 and 11, respectively and that of Jharkhand on January 5, 2020. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP favouring simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, the party may set an example by holding Assembly polls together.

The party, however, says that no decision has been taken on holding Assembly polls, along with the two other states. “There is no information of advancing the Assembly poll in the state,” BJP leader Ravi Bhatt told IANS.

Asked about the timing of polls, state BJP spokesman Shivapujan Pathak told IANS that the “party has started poll preparations. It is up to the party’s central leaders to decide whether polls will be held on schedule time or advanced”.

“Our membership drive is going at large scale…. We have set target of 25 lakh new members in the state,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Raghubar Das has swung into action, with the state government fixing September 30 for distributing free gas cylinders to the remaining 14 lakh families.

Jharkhand, which has already distributed free gas cylinders to 29 lakh families, has also announced to refill the cylinder at free of cost.

The state is focusing to cover all its people under the Ayushman Bharat and other social schemes.

The Chief Minister has directed the officials to complete major state and centre sponsored schemes by August 31 and September 30, respectively.

Government sources also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to make two to three visits to the state in August and September to launch agriculture-related schemes and inaugurate the multi-modal terminal on the Ganga in Sahebganj district.

On the International Day of Yoga, Modi had chosen Ranchi to attend the programme, which was attended by more than 35,000 people.

The BJP is enthused by the Lok Sabha poll outcome, where it won 12 of the state’s 14 Lok Sabha seats, defeating the grand alliance of the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik and the Rashtriya Janata Dal. While the Congress and the JMM managed to win one seat each, JMM President and former Chief Minister Shibu Soren lost his traditional Dumka seat.

Meanwhile, the membership drive is carried out on an intensive level, especially among the rural areas. BJP Working President J.P. Nadda had also recently visited the state to participate in membership drive campaign and discuss poll preparations with local leaders.

BJP national Vice President Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is in charge of the membership campaign in Jharkhand, has also visited the state twice.

Even, the opposition parties have started their poll preparations. Not deterred by the Lok Sabha defeat, the grand alliance is again gearing to fight the Assembly polls together.

“We are ready to face the Assembly poll. Let BJP manipulate the poll dates. The assembly poll will be different from Lok Sabha. In the 2014 Assembly polls, despite the ‘Modi magic’ and the divided opposition, the BJP did not get a majority on its own,” JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya told IANS.

The BJP had won 37 seats in the 81-member Assembly and came to power with the help of ally, the All Jharkhand Students Union.

Is Nitish Kumar looking for another home?


Unlike the first eight years of his government, the second anniversary of the homecoming of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on July 27 to the National Democratic Alliance was a virtual non-event.

There was no celebration, no release of Report Card to the mediapersons to highlight the achievements of the state government and no grand party organised on this occasion and no doling out of million of rupees as advertisements to newspapers and other media houses.

Instead, the chief minister chaired a six-hour long review meeting on natural disaster as 13 districts are reeling under flood and 20 in the grip of drought. Nitish’s second innings with the Bharatiya Janata Party is very much different from the previous one––that is between November 24, 2005 and June 16, 2013.

He is seldom heard boasting of big achievements of his government. Even during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha election earlier this year, the Bihar chief minister would be heard highlighting the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

This is a significant departure from the past. Nitish would then use anniversaries of coming to power, frequent ‘yatras’ and occasion like Bihar Diwas on March 22 to market his government’s achievements.

No such exercise is undertaken now. There is no talk of Bihari sub-nationalism or ‘asmita’ (pride). Even the demand of special category status to Bihar is seldom raised.

Nitish tried to flex some muscle recently after the demand of more than one berth to the Janata Dal United in the Union cabinet was not accepted by the Prime Minister.

As if that was not enough, some hardliners within the BJP led by Union minister Giriraj Singh started demanding the snapping of ties with the Janata Dal United. They are hopeful that the BJP can win the next year’s Assembly election alone.

There is no dearth of people in political circles who are of the view that Nitish is looking for another ‘home’ after his famous ‘’ghar wapsi’ exactly two years back.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal has opened its door for him, albeit partially.

While other constituents of Grand Alliance like Congress and Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha may have no problem in aligning with Nitish once again. But that may not be the case with the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, whose leader Upendra Kushwaha, never sees eye to eye with Nitish.

Incidentally the RLSP is the only party which has taken to streets on several occasions after the May 23 debacle to highlight the failure of the Nitish Kumar government, be it over the deaths of hundreds of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome, heat wave, floods, plight of farmers or deplorable condition of education in the state. In the first week of July the party even undertook a march from Muzaffarpur to Patna.

Thus two months after the Lok Sabha election and two years after Nitish’s ‘homecoming’, the politics in Bihar continues to remain fluid. Nitish is still wondering as to whether he would go to poll next year on his own agenda or that of Narendra Modi.

However, a day after the second anniversary, Nitish managed to get a prize catch in the form of former Union minister Ali Ashraf Fatmi who on July 28 crossed over from RJD to Janata Dal United. Another good thing for the Bihar CM is that the main opposition party, the RJD is in dormant state and the leader of opposition in the state Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav stayed away from the entire Monsoon Session of the House.

Jharkhand MLA resigns over minister’s reply


BSP’s only Jharkhand MLA resigned from the Assembly on Friday, protesting against an ambiguous reply of a minister to his question on reviving a cement plant that he said reflected the casual approach of the BJP-led state government while addressing legislators’ concerns.

“I am fed up. I moved a resolution for the revival of the Japla cement factory. I got upset as urban development minister C.P. Singh replied casually to my concerns, saying that I should search for investors if I was keen on reviving the factory,” said Kushwaha Shivpujan Mehta.

The MLA said the state government was not bothered about the industrial development of Palamau. “Am I running the government? Am I the minister? The factory was auctioned and its machinery sold. In the coming years, even the land of the factory will be auctioned,” he said, adding that he had held demonstrations during every House session to raise the issue.

“In the last four and half years, I have seen that the government takes questions raised by MLAs very casually,” Mehta said, referring to his private member’s resolution that was ultimately rejected by the House by voice-vote.

The Japla cement factory was set up in 1917 by Martin Burn Company. It continued production till 1984 when operations were stopped. In 1985, then Bihar chief minister Bindeshwari Dubey persuaded Dalmia group of companies to run the factory, promising Rs 5 crore as financial assistance.

But the state government only released Rs 2.5 crore. The Dalmias were unable to run the factory and it was shut down in 1991.

Last year, the factory machinery was auctioned off for around Rs 12 crore under the supervision of Patna High Court after it rejected Jharkhand government’s intervention petition seeking to stop the auction.

Mehta handed over a typed resignation letter to Speaker Dinesh Oraon during the second half of the day’s session. But an Assembly official, citing technicalities and the circumstances of his decision, said the letter would not be considered by the Speaker.

“He submitted a typed resignation letter when the session was going on. But after that he stayed back and took part in proceedings because many MLAs asked him to. So his resignation has automatically turned infructuous. Had he left the House immediately, then the matter could have been considered,” said a senior Assembly official.

Asked whether he was serious about quitting the House, Mehta admitted he did not know the nitty-gritty of House procedures.

“Today I submitted my resignation to the Speaker. Now the ball is in his court. But I am fed up,” he said, adding that the state government had never taken his concerns seriously.

“I had raised the issue of district-level reservations in government jobs and displacement of local residents due to the Batane water reservoir. But none of these were taken seriously by the government. HRD minister Neera Yadav virtually scolded me on one occasion,” he claimed.

Producer of incendiary song, “Jo na bole jai shree Ram,” claims its writer is a “patriot”


These are the opening lyrics to a new song uploaded on YouTube on 23 July, on a channel called “Varun Bahar official.” The three-minute-long song, titled, “Those who will not chant victory to lord Ram, send them to the graveyard,” is by a Bhojpuri singer, Varun Bahar Upadhyay. The video features Bahar dressed in an all-saffron outfit, sporting rudraksh beads—seeds that are used as prayer beads, usually by followers of the Hindu god Shiva—against a fixed backdrop splashed with images of the Hindu god Ram. The video switches between Bahar singing, images of young men carrying swords and threatening bystanders, and groups of saffron-clad boys and girls dancing. An unidentified graveyard—the cemetery is dotted with Christian crosses—makes an appearance every time Bahar sings the chorus, accompanied by some fist-pumping for added effect. The hashtags accompanying the song are equally unimaginative: “#saffron#terrorist#varun.” The description has a single line in Hindi which translates as “after singing this song, the media has declared Varun Bahar as a saffron terrorist.” A casual search on Google did not reveal any such media reports.

The song has, however, been shared widely on social media, drawing sharp reactions, and scathing criticism for inciting lynching and mob violence against minorities. The unequivocal exhortations in the song’s lyrics are undeniable. Bahar’s YouTube channel, which had 549 subscribers as of 6 pm on 24 July, has been online since 2013, but the oldest video is from just a year ago. The channel is an absurd mix of devotional songs, Bhojpuri love songs, videos proclaiming and seeking support for the prime minister Narendra Modi and content that can only politely be termed titillating.

Bahar’s mobile phone has been switched off since the morning of 24 July, following the furore on social media, and I could not get in touch with Santosh Singh Yadu, the writer of the song and a co-curator of the channel. Rajesh Verma, who runs a YouTube channel called Janta Musical And Pictures, produced and directed the video. Verma told me that the video was originally uploaded on his channel “two or three days ago, but we removed it from Janta music because it became controversial.” He said that some “Pakistani channels and local channels” contacted him and told him that “it’s wrong to say ‘send them to the grave,’ and so we took it down.”

Verma denied that the lyrics were inflammatory and said that “the singer did not take names” of any religion. He argued that “both Hindus and Muslims use graves.” When I pointed out that Hindus are cremated and so the song targets minority communities who bury their dead, Verma claimed that “only married Hindus are cremated, unmarried and single Hindus are buried.” He appeared to have forgotten that the Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch, Atal Bihari Vajpayee—an avowed bachelor—was cremated with full state honours. “I am not anti-Muslim,” Verma told me, when I pushed him to explain the anti-minority lyrics of the video. “I visit dargahs every Thursday and do pranam whenever I go past a mosque.”

Verma’s Janta Musical channel has released 598 videos as of 24 June. One song is titled, “’If you don’t like saffron, get out of India” and boasts of 5.5 million views. Another is called “Every Hindu’s call: Temple first, government only after that,” and has 252,000 views. All the songs feature violent imagery of men dressed in saffron, carrying swords and other similar tropes of majoritarian assertion. The channel also contains several videos supporting Modi and the BJP.

“Bahar and Yadu came to me with the idea of the song,” Verma said. He added that Bahar hails from a village called Mankapur, “near Ayodhya.” He noted that he had heard the song before uploading it but justified the offensive lyrics and its call to violence. “Some people are saying we won’t let the Ram temple be built,” Verma told me. “We are devotees of Ram, so we have made a song in praise of Ram.”

Verma was puzzled by the objection to providing a platform to the song: “If it was a matter of hurting anyone, why would we upload it?” When I asked him who the video was addressed to, he blithely responded, “The writer of the song is a deshpremi”—a patriot—“and he may have had the stone-pelters in Kashmir in mind while writing the song.” Verma also denied any connection to a political party or group and said he was an “independent music producer.” Janta Musical has a Twitter account, which tweeted on 23 July, “We apologise for the rumours spread due to the song of one singer. It was not the intention of Janta Music to hurt the religious feelings of any group.”

While Verma claimed that he removed the video soon after uploading it, the song was available on the “Varun Bahar official” channel till around 6 pm on 24 July. It has now been removed but is still being shared widely on other social-media platforms. The singer and writer, though unavailable, seem to have no regrets about the song or its content. Just hours before the video was removed, at around 3 pm on 24 July, Bahar and Yadu posted this statement, from their official account, in the comments section: