The decision by the Centre to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) for five years over its “linkages with global terrorist groups" has been termed by the BJP as a “decisive and bold" decision by the Modi government and a move that sends a message to all “anti-national groups" that they will not survive in this country.
Welcoming the decisions, BJP leaders put out tweets and statements in support of the ban on PFI, saying that India in the Modi era is decisive and bold, while the AIMIM said let there be a fair probe, adding that agencies should come out with details of what illegalities were being committed by an organisation “whose youth are being arrested in large numbers".
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued an order, banning PFI and all its affiliate for a period of five years, declaring the outfit and all its associates, affiliates and fronts as Unlawful Association under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is (UAPA).
How Political Leaders Reacted to PFI Ban:
• Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai welcomed the central government’s decision to ban PFI for its alleged terror activities, and said the move sends a message to all “anti-national groups" that they will not survive in this country. He said all that is necessary would be done to stop PFI’s activities in the state. “For a long time, it has been a demand by the people of this country, by all political parties including the opposition CPI, CPI(M) and the Congress. PFI is the avatar (incarnation) of SIMI (banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India), and KFD (Karnataka Forum for Dignity). They were involved in anti-national activities and violence," Bommai said. Speaking to reporters, CM Bommai said they had their command outside the country and some of their important office-bearers had even gone across the border for the training.
• AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said that though he has always opposed PFI’s approach he added that the ban on PFI cannot be supported.
• BJP leader and Minister of Rural Development Giriraj Singh took to Twitter and wrote, “BYE BYE PFI".
• Assam CM and BJP leader Hemanta Biswa Sarma said the government “is firm in its resolve to ensure that anyone with a diabolical, divisive or disruptive design against India shall be dealt with iron fist". In a tweet, Sarma welcomed the ban on PFI and said “India of Modi Era is Decisive and Bold".
• Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha told news agency ANI, “It is essential for the integrity of the country. Discussions were being held for a long time and today this has been announced. I am delighted. I express gratitude to PM Modi and HM Amit Shah, on behalf of the people of Tripura."
• Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath welcomed the ban on PFI and said this is “new India" where terrorists, criminals and organisations and individuals who pose a threat are not acceptable. “This is ‘New India’, where terrorists, criminals and organizations and individuals who pose a threat to the unity, integrity and security of the nation are not acceptable," he tweeted.
• MK Faizy, national president of the SDPI, political wing of PFI, said in a statement that the decision of Union government, banning PFI and its associate organisations is a “direct blow on democracy and the rights of people enshrined in Indian Constitution". Faizy in his statement appealed to “all secular parties and people" to commit themselves to “oppose the dictatorial regime and to save the democracy and values of Indian constitution".
• Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said the “belated action" of PFI ban was a step in right direction after “prolonged vacillation". “When will the BJP Govt now act against “the other side of same coin” organizations close to BJP-RSS? Communalism hate in all forms is harmful to societal fabric must be curbed," Surjewala tweeted.
• Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Party said that the grand-old party has always been and will continue to be against all forms of communalism. “The Congress’s policy has always been to fight uncompromisingly all ideologies and institutions that abuse religion for polarising our society, that misuse religion to spread prejudice, hate, bigotry and violence," he said welcoming the ban.
• RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav welcomed a ban on PFI and said that there should be ban on all the organizations spreading hatred, including RSS.
• Congress senior leader Kamal Nath attacked the government on PFI ban by asking what was the government doing for so many years. “This problem didn’t came from one year only. If they have any connection with terror organization, then what were you doing for so many years." He further said that the investigation will be out soon in the matter.
• Delhi Chief Minister called for strictest action against all the anti-national forces. The Delhi CM was speaking on the ban against PFI.
• Saluting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the decision to ban PFI, BJP’s Nitesh Rane said in a tweet, “Ek hi maara.. magar solid maara na!!! Salute to Hon Pm @narendramodi ji and Hon HM @AmitShah ji !! Banning PFI was the need of the hour..now next is terrorist organisation Raza Academy which is working on the same lines..Sabko saaf karo..Ye Humara HINDUSTAN hai!!!" the tweet reads.
• AIMIM Maharashtra president Imtiaz Jaleel called for a fair probe and said that agencies should come out with details of what illegalities were being committed by an organisation whose youth are being arrested in large numbers. “Let there be fair probe and agencies should come out with details of what illegalities were being committed by an organisation whose youth are being arrested in large numbers. We will not support any anti social acts by any organisation if NIA convincingly proves their involvement," Jaleel said.
• CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri said that ban on PFI is not the solution. He further said that the party’s stand is that PFI activities should be stopped. Yechuri maintained that his party opposes all forms of terrorism and added that what RSS does is also an act of terrorism. The secular base of the nation should be strengthened, he further added.
• Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde welcomed the Union government’s decision to ban PFI and said it has come to light that the organisation was planning “something serious" in the state. The organisation members had also tried to disturb peace in Pune, but swift police action foiled their bid, Shinde told reporters in Nashik.
“The PFI and its allied organisations were found to be involved in serious crimes. The organisation recently became active in terror funding, murders, insulting the Constitution, disturbing the social harmony and unity of the country. It has also surfaced that the organisation was planning something serious in Maharashtra as well," the CM said.
• Senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi attacked the Congress over the Centre’s decision to ban PFI for five years, saying it is unfortunate that some people are looking at their political profit and loss even in this. Reacting to the development, Naqvi said strict action has been taken against those “acting as proxies of anti-India forces" that were against democracy as part of a violent conspiracy. “Amity and security of the country are our strength. This strength is what troubles anti-India forces. These forces that had made religion a protective shield and were plotting a conspiracy against the amity and security of the country," the former minority affairs minister said.
• BJP’s firebrand leader Amit Malviya said the Congress “actively defended and collaborated with PFI in the past". “Will Congress leaders like Salman Khurshid, who have in the past walked the path of ignominy, and unsuccessfully defended radical organisation like the SIMI, speak for the now banned terror group?" Malviya said on the PFI ban action.
• The All India Bar Association (AIBA) also welcomed the ban on PFI. In a statement, AIBA said it “expressed its hearty thanks to the Prime Minister and Home Minister for having done yet another surgical strike to ensure national unity and integration by banning the PFI".
• Dr. Adish C Aggarwala, Senior Advocate and Chairman of All India Bar Association, while congratulating the Prime Minister and Home Minister, now requests both “to continue to be the sentinel of the national security and integrity, to remain vigilant and ensure that PFI does not sprout under different name and banner to continue its terrorist and disruptive activities.” Government should totally disband the PFI network and nix its attempts to be reborn under a different banner, it said.