Sat, Feb 25, 2017 | updated 02:40 PM IST

Congress leader Ramya refuses to apologise for 'Pakistan is not hell' remarks

Updated: Aug 23, 2016 13:28 IST

Bengaluru, Aug. 23 (ANI): Stating that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "will not do anything to repeal the law, because they are using it to their advantage", Congress leader Ramya on Tuesday refused to apologise for her statement that "Pakistan is a good country, not hell".

"The BJP is right now would not do anything to repeal the law, because they are using it to their advantage. I don't have any ego at all, and in any given situation I would have apologised, but in this particular incident "me apologising", the larger cause that we are fighting for would go. I think that I don't want to lose that opportunity," said Kannada actor-turned-politician.

A sedition case was filed against the former Member of Parliament from Karnataka's Mandya for her rebuttal to Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's comment that "going to Pakistan is like going to hell", had said, "Pakistan is a good country, not hell. People are just like us. They treated us very well. Manohar Parrikar's comment is not true."

When asked about the sedition charge, Ramya, also known as Divya Spandana, who had recently visited Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit for young parliamentarians, said, "I think it's really sad, but this is the state of affairs in this country today. Sedition is being slapped against anyone and anybody who is entitled to an opinion, which shouldn't be the case actually. I am feeling really sorry for the people for misusing this law as well."

"As an individual, I should be allowed to express my thoughts, my feelings or my opinions and, I think, the BJP government is trying to curb that and that should not be the case," she added.

"If you look at other political parties that are there, if we have to file sedition cases, like "misuse of the sedition law", and file cases against the BJP, we could also do that, because the kind of bizarre statements their members have made, some of the things is seditious, but we are of kind to take them on in discussion and conversation and put forth our views, but we never stoop to that kind of politics," said the Congress leader refusing to buckle down under pressure or criticism.

"Not as a former Member of Parliament, but as a common man, everyone is entitled to their views. This is an opportunity for the people to speak of their mind, and not allowing people to speak of their mind will suppress the freedom of speech and, I think, if I apologise then I will be bowing down to pressure," she said.

On her return from Pakistan, the Congress leader had refuted Parrikar's remarks on that country, saying the people of Pakistan were very welcoming and went out of their way to make her stay comfortable on getting to know that she was from India. (ANI)

Jammu [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): The National Conference (NC) on Saturday stood firmly behind its Chief Farooq Abdullah, after he came under fire for saying that Kashmiri youth are picking up arms to fight for their freedom, saying that he was only voicing what the young people wanted, adding that the Centre was the real culprit here for the burgeoning crisis in the Valley.

Full Story >>

Imphal (Manipur) [India], Feb. 25(ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday alleged that the Congress party is dividing people by spreading lies about the Centre compromising the territorial integrity of Manipur by signing an accord with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland -- Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) insurgent group.

Full Story >>

Guwahati (Assam) [India], Feb.25 (ANI):In a bid to improve connectivity and to make northeast region a destination paradise, Indian Railway Catering And Tourism Corporation (IRTC) and the North East Frontier Railway (NFR) recently launched the "Aastha Circuit Train" a special pilgrim train for the Northeastern region here.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Condemning statements made by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nalin Kohli said locals picking up arms in Kashmir will be neutralized.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.25 (ANI): Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit on Saturday said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refusal to certify Prakash Jha's film 'Lipstick under my Burkha' was conservative and narrow minded.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Endorsing National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah and former finance minister P. Chidambaram's stand on the prevailing Kashmir tension, the Congress on Saturday slammed the Centre for turning a blind eye to the turmoil churning in the Valley.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Branding National Conference President Farooq Abdullah 'opportunist' for criticising BJP-PDP coalition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said the former has changed his tone because he has lost the power.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should come together and work for the people of Maharashtra post the Maharashtra Civic polls.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): The hearing in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah Blasts case has been adjourned till March 8 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Jaipur.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.25 (ANI): The JD (U) on Saturday defended Farooq Abdullah's controversial remark that the youth joining militant ranks are 'sacrificing their lives for freedom of the valley', saying that the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir knew the happenings of the state much better than anyone else and there was no reason to doubt his nationalism.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Lashing out at former finance minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram for saying that Kashmir was "nearly lost" thanks to the government's policies, the Centre on Saturday branded his remark as "anti-national", adding that his statement was tantamount to promoting separatism and encouraging terrorism.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Holding the Congress responsible for militancy and economic blockade in the north-east region, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh said the disruption was a conspiracy of the Congress for retaining political power.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Condemning Congress leader Digvijay Singh for his 'derogatory' tweet against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded strict action against the former, while asserting that

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.25 (ANI): The family of Sepoy Mandeep Singh, whose body was mutilated by terrorists after being killed last year during ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir, has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention into the delay of the promised compensation.

Full Story >>

Imphal [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): With campaigning for the two-phased Assembly polls gaining momentum in the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Manipur today, to address an election rally in Imphal West district.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Extending support to former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam and his demand to have judicial enquiry into the 'mysterious' death of late J. Jayalalithaa, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Saturday said their working president M.K. Stalin also demanded the same since she was admitted to hospital.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): The Embassy of India in the United States has assured that it is closely monitoring the tragic incident, wherein an Indian engineer was shot dead and another was injured in Kansas.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah's comment over increased crimes in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party on Saturday asked the former to check his own ministers' actions first and then comment on any state.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Saturday termed late J. Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar's announcement to form a new party a tactical move to strengthen former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam's hand against All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader Sasikala.

Full Story >>

Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): A day after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah remarked that the youth of the valley was picking up ammunition not to become legislators, but to fight for the freedom the valley, defence experts on Saturday said the former was speaking the language of separatists.

Full Story >>