New Delhi/Lucknow, 5 May-2014(PTI): Congress on Monday hit out at Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah for carrying out a “communal campaign” and demanded action by the Election Commission against Shah for his controversial remark that Azamgarh in UP was a “base of terrorists”. [ TOI: Unusual move: SC prompts Amit Shah’s exile from Gujarat ]
“Modi/Amit Shah have come back to communal campaign from development. They have forgotten involvement of Sanghi activists in Modasa bomb blast,” Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said on Twitter.
He said, “Modasa is in Gujarat. Azamgarh has been a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity. It didn’t have any riots in (19)47 and (19)92 post Babri Masjid demolition. I strongly condemn Amit Shah’s statement about Azamgarh. Election Commission must take action.”
Attacking Modi, he asked the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate to speak out on grants given by the Gujarat government to NGOs run by Aseemanand and Pragya Singh, both accused in bomb blast cases.
“Would Modi tell us grants Gujarat government and he has given to Shabri Ashram of Aseemanand and to Pragya Singh’s NGOs, both accused in bomb blast?,” he asked.
Aseemanand is an accused in 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case while Pragya Thakur is a key accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case.
Former Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Faruqui condemned Shah’s comment for associating terrorism with a place or community.
“It is highly condemnable to defame a place or community for terrorism. Amit Shah can’t keep a control on his tongue. He has already faced EC ire. Elections will be over in next 10-12 days but hatred is being developed in people’s heart.
“We condemn statements by any party or person to associate terrorism with a place or community,” he said.
Shah, who is BJP’s in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, had on Sunday said that Azamgarh is the base of terrorists as there is no fear of the state government, which is advocating their release. He also said that accused in Gujarat bomb blast cases were from Azamgarh.
Shobha Oza, President of All India Women Congress, said, Shah “has been spewing venom through his language. The Election Commission should take a cognisance of it. An immediate strict action should be taken against him.
“He is trying to polarize the whole elections. People like Amit Shah are incorrigible. His whole politics is based on communalism and he keeps spewing venom to divide this country,” she said.
Another Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, “It is very wrong to say anything about any place. I don’t know what sort of politician he is and (he is )trying to defame Azamgarh.
“Whether it is BJP, Shah or any other leader, it is very wrong to make an opinion about Azamgarh. It is a praise worthy city. It is unfortunate to consider people of Azamgarh as terrorists,” he said.
Mayawati slams Shah’s remarks
Lashing out at Amit Shah for his controversial remarks against Azamgarh, BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday said Gujarat can be termed as a “base of communalism” by the same parameter and demanded that the Election Commission ban his entry in Uttar Pradesh.
Mayawati said that if Shah’s parameter was considered to be right, there was nothing wrong if Gujarat was called as the “centre of communalism”.
Flaying Shah’s statement, the BSP leader told reporters that, “Such a statement violating mode code of conduct could vitiate law and order in Azamgarh and eastern UP. Gujarat can also be termed as a base of communalism and crime. I demand EC again ban Shah in Uttar Pradesh”.
The BSP leader also demanded that the EC initiates action against SP leader Abu Asim Azmi for this “DNA remark” at a meeting recently.
“As far as Shah’s remarks are concerned I will like tosay that if some persons of Azamgarh district have done anything wrong whether Hindu or Muslim, it does not mean that the people of the entire society are terrorists,” Mayawati said, while dubbing BJP candidate Ramakant Yadav as the “biggest terrorist” of Azamgarh district.
“I want to say that such type of statement can disturb law and order situation in Azamgarh and eastern UP. I demand EC that should take action against Shah and a complete ban should be imposed on his entry in UP,” she said.