New Delhi, 23 April-2014(Indilens Web Team): The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday barred Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Giriraj Singh from holding any election rallies for his “highly inflammatory speeches and statements”, even as the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, strongly disapproved of his colleague’s comments. Election Commission bars BJP leader from campaigning in Bihar & Jharkhand
The EC, in its notice, said Singh’s speeches and statements on April 18 in Deoghar, Jharkhand, “promote feelings of enmity, hatred and ill will and create disharmony between different communities” and could lead to law and order problems. It said Singh’s statement that “voters who do not vote for Modi shall have to find their place in Pakistan” violated the model code of conduct. It has barred Singh from addressing any public meetings or roadshows in Bihar and Jharkhand.
The commission has asked Singh to explain his speeches to the poll panel by Thursday evening. Apart from the EC notice, two FIRs have also been lodged against Singh. The Bihar leader, who until Monday had refused to retract his statement or apologise for it, on Tuesday blamed the media for having twisted his comments.
Modi, who has been trying for an image makeover, disapproved of Singh’s comments. “Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP’s well wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development and good governance,” Modi tweeted. In another tweet, he said: “I disapprove any such irresponsible statement & appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so.”
Apart from Singh’s statement, a video had also surfaced which showed Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia purportedly threatening a Muslim businessman in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Togadia ostensibly also appealed to the state government to stop Muslims from buying property in Hindu areas.
The Congress dismissed Modi’s tweets as “crocodile tears”. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said people knew the truth.
‘I won’t be vindictive’
Modi, in an interview to a television channel telecast on Tuesday, said nobody could agree with Singh’s statement. The Gujarat chief minister also stressed he would not be vindictive after his victory.
Modi said as PM he would like to focus his energies on doing “some good work” than chasing cases against Robert Vadra and others.
“We get elected for five years and for five years should we roam around with this mess or do some good work?…If we get entangled in this, what good work can we do?” he asked. But Modi clarified that nobody was above law.
Modi dismissed the controversy over his marriage as needless. He said his rivals could not find anything negative so they picked up issues like that one.
Modi said he would reach out to Muslim “brothers” like any other citizen of the country, even if it meant walking a hundred steps. Modi said the contentious issues of Ram temple and Uniform Civil Code would be addressed within the Constitutional framework.
Asked if he would be guided by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he said he would follow the Constitution of India to govern the country. On the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi said the United Progressive Alliance government had “dragged” him to the Supreme Court on the issue.
“Till now, no CM has been grilled by policemen for nine hours. It was done on the orders of Supreme Court. SC has seen the video of that recording. I have stood that test and even in future, I am ready for any test,” he added.
Congress ignored Rao
At his rally in Nizamabad, Modi accused Congress of downplaying the contribution of its own former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.
“Against the wishes of the ‘family’, Narasimha Rao, a son of Andhra Pradesh, became the Prime Minister of the country. His tenure is considered to be a good one. But this family is full of hatred, be it Andhra Pradesh or Telangana.
“Because of this, even so many years after Rao’s death, even flowers are not offered by them on his birth or death anniversary,” he said.
He said the people of Telangana won a separate state through their sacrifices. “Those who say that they (Congress leadership) gave you Telangana are lying. You have got Telangana through your sacrifices,” he said. [Input: BS]