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Rajasthan Govt. has no right to stop Rushdie's video link address: Jaitley

Jalandhar , Tue, 24 Jan 2012 ANI

Jalandhar, Jan 24 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley on Tuesday criticized the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan for not allowing controversial author Salman Rushdie to address participants at the Jaipur Literature Festival via video link.


He said the state government had no right to regulate any mode of telecommunication, as it falls in the Central list.


"In the matter of Salman Rushdie, first by producing a false report, he was misdirected to not visit the country, and now, I have been reading in newspapers that he may or may not be able to hold a video conference. I believe that the state government has no right under any law to stop him from holding a video conference," Jaitley told media here.


He said this sent out a wrong message.


"When any government bows to the demands of fundamentalists and hardliners, it sends out a bad message for the government and the political administration," Jaitley added.


Rushdie had to cancel his scheduled visit to the festival in Jaipur over security fears.


First, the proposed trip evoked protests from Muslim groups over his banned novel, "The Satanic Verses" which was published in 1988, and then there were alleged threats from the underworld.


An outraged Rushdie later expressed his distress on a social networking site, where he mentioned that the information given to him about the threat to his life was false.


"Rajasthan police invented plot to keep away Rushdie' I've investigated, and believe that I was indeed lied to. I am outraged and very angry," he tweeted. (ANI)


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