For long, critics of Aam Aadmi Party have alleged that they are not really different from any other party. They point out that for all their self-righteousness, AAP leaders use every trick in the book to coax voters. These allegations just got new teeth with a video tape emerging where AAP leader Shazia Ilmi is seen addressing a group of Muslim clerics.
In the footage, Shazia is asking the clerics to shun secularism. She said, “Muslims are very secular. Muslims need to be communal. A Muslim isn’t communal – doesn’t vote for his own. Arvind Kejriwal is one of you….don’t be this secular.”Most believe that this was a clever way of asking the Muslims to refrain from voting for “secular” Congress. But this appeal for votes according to religion has led to mass outrage in the social media.
Shazia though has stood her ground saying it was a “play of words” and she was merely asking the Muslims to look out for themselves. AAP has rejected the possibility of taking any action against one of their most prominent Muslim faces. Congress condemned the speech saying that Ilmi has merely followed footsteps of her “krantikari” leader Kejriwal.
Just yesterday a furore was created over a tape surfacing which had VHP leader Praveen Togadia lecturing about how to keep Muslims at bay from buying houses in Hindu dominated areas of Gujarat. BJP initially tried to deny that Togadia had made such statements. They also tried to dissociate the firebrand leader from BJP. But anticipating that this is turning into a major P.R disaster for the party in midst of the campaign, Narendra Modi had to step in.
In Twitter, he said that irresponsible and petty statements from well-wishers are doing harm to the campaign. BJP has so far broadly tried to project the issue of good governance and development to tap into the urban disenchantment with UPA government. It does not want the election to become a referendum on secularism. Modi also condemned party candidate from Bihar Giriraj Singh who created controversy saying all those opposed to Gujarat C.M should live in Pakistan.
Omar Abdullah today said that he will not stop criticising Modi even if it means going to Pakistan. He out rightly rejected BJP’s offer of discussion on Article 370 saying that going back on history may put question marks on Kashmir’s accession to India. Election Commission in the meanwhile has banned Giriraj from campaigning and attending public rallies in both Jharkhand and Bihar. They took the decision after seeing the controversial CD where BJP leader is seen delivering vitriolic speech. A decision on Praveen Togadia is also expected soon.
Amit Shah today gave a twist to his controversial speech. He said he was asking for badla (revenge) for lack of development in the state!!. Shiv Sena has quickly distanced itself from senior leader Ramdas Kadam who made some anti- Muslim comments in front of Modi at a rally in Mumbai. Party chief Udhav Thakre said that they don’t endorse Kadam’s speech.
Modi in the meanwhile is confident that he can win the heart of Muslims once he assumes power. Striking a conciliatory tone, he said that issues like Ram Mandir and Uniform Civil Code will be settled within the ambits of Constitution. He made it clear that if necessary he would walk the extra mile to quell grievances among different sections of the society.
Rahul Gandhi in a candid confession has finally conceded that UPA government has committed some mistakes. He also agreed to the fact that there is considerable amount of anti-incumbencyagainst UPA. But he tried to remind people about government’s flagship project like RTI, Lokepal , MGNREGA etc. Congress Vice President said that if they go back to power they will extend on this right based approach of development.
Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday promised the poor living in Chhattisgarh that UPA III would provide them free housing and medical facilities if it returns to power.
Rahul’s sister Priyanka Gandhi has finally broken her stoic silence on accusations against Robert Vadra. The way Modi taunted Congress of having jijaG after 2G probably forced Priyanka to issue a statement. In the family pocket borough of Raebareli, Priyanka said that she was saddened by the charges levelled against her husband Vadra but promised to stay strong. To crank up the sympathy factor, she invoked the name of Indira Gandhi recalling life teachings learnt from her. She said that Vadra has been deeply humiliated.
Congress which so far had been rather cautious in commenting in this matter also jumped to Priyanka’s aid. Party said that BJP sponsored PIL’s have been rejected in courts repeatedly. They expressed confidence that just as allegations against Indira, Rajiv or Sonia Gandhi didn’t stick; this will also prove to be ineffective.
BJP promptly responded with a sharper attack. Vadra once in FB posted “Mango people in banana democracy”. Nirmala Sitaraman referred to that comment to say that Priyanka Gandhi didn’t bother to counsel her husband when he had hurt the feelings of average Indians. In an issue which may embarrass the government, a bench of Supreme Court today pulled up the government for failing to comply with its past orders to disclose names of Indians who have money stashed in foreign banks located at Liechtenstein.
Prominent academicians stationed in UK are making a last ditch attempt to stop Modi from becoming Prime Minister. Around 75 professors and other academics of Indian origin working at some of Britain’s prestigious institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford university and London School of Economics today issued an open letter, sharply attacking Narendra Modi and saying, “The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread”. They made this appeal in UK’s “Independent” newspaper known for its Leftist credentials.
Congress today asked Election Commission to not let Modi use the BHU campus on the day he fills his nomination from Varanasi. In a letter the party argued that government property should not be used for any political purpose.
BJP has officially asked EC to take action against Kapil Sibal and Beni Prasad Verma. Verma called Modi a murderer whereas Kapil Sibal was critical on both Modi and Amit Shah. BJP alleges that both the Union Ministers broke the model code of conduct. It is truly free for all at the business end of elections. These were the major stories from today. Come back tomorrow for more.
Bihar Election Results