Narendra Modi may or may not become P.M post 16th May, but he is earning the dubious distinction of uniting politicians from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in hatred against him. Apart from Modi’s regular spat with Congress, today he locked horns with powerful regional leaders to further lower the level of discourse of Elections 2014.
On Sunday evening, Gujarat C.M went to Bengal and accused the state government of shielding the kingpins in Sharada scam. He also alleged that one of Mamata Banerjee’s paintings was sold for 1.80 crores. He asked didi to reveal the name of the person who bought the painting for such an exorbitant price. Trinamool Congress countered this statement branding Modi as butcher of Bengal. They even attacked him for deserting his wife.
Even after 24 hours tempers haven’t cooled on either side. Mamata Banerjee has termed Modi as the devil. She alleges that young children and pregnant mothers got killed under Modi’s watch. BJP has hit back saying that TMC supremo has lost her mental balance. According to Nirmala Sitharaman, didi is rattled with the Modi wave and hence resorting to personal charges. Trinamool Congress though is in no mood to back down. They have challenged Modi to give proof about the paintings or face defamation. Sudipto Sen, the head of now defunct Sharada Group has clarified that he didn’t buy the painting.
From one ex NDA ally to another, National Conference too upped the ante against BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. Senior NC leader Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday that Modi supporters should drown themselves in sea. He even gave veiled threat about secession from India if communalism is chosen. This has elicited a stern reply from the man under attack. In a video message, Modi said that India’s practise of secularism is for ages. But if ever it got hurt it was when the Abdullah’s forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the state. Launching a vitriolic attack he said that the land of sufi traditions has been tarred with communal colours by three generation of Abdullah rule.
Reaction to the jibe about jumping in sea, Modi said that Farooq Abdullah should hold a mirror in front of himself to know who needs to get drowned. Modi’s video rants met a swift protest from Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
In a barrage of tweets and interviews, Omar said that during the unfortunate exodus of Pandits from valley Jagmohan (who has currently ties with BJP) was the governor and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (PDP chief) was the home minister in the Central government. He sought to absolve any involvement of his family in the matter. He challenged Modi to organise rally in the valley and said that people of Kashmir don’t need a lesson in secularism from Gujarat C.M. Omar turning the pages of history also reminded people that “Sheikh Abdullah chose a secular India rather than Muslim Pakistan and then spent two decades incarcerated but didn’t waver.”
Congress too today stepped up the rhetoric against BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. For a change it was not any member of the Gandhi family but the second line of the party which took the pot-shots. According to Union Minister Kapil Sibal there is clinching evidence to arrest Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. He asked the question about who is shielding these top politicians. Incidentally CBI is currently investigating the case but has not levelled charge any politician. Sibal weighed his argument primarily based on the letters of Ex DG of Gujarat Vanzara and hoped that courts will stand up for human rights.
On the other hand Congress today sought to link Narendra Modi with a person the party claims is a hawala operator. Congress released several photographs that show a person called Afroz Fatta among a group of people mingling with Narendra Modi. The party said that Fatta is a part of 700 crores hawala scam and was raided by E.D in this regard. The party also showed “proofs” of Modi’s links with this businessman by saying Gujarat government website has photos of C.M with Fatta. It challenged Modi to agree to an independent probe.
After equating Rahul Gandhi with comedian Kapil Sharma, Modi today quipped that Congress V.P is a “specimen” and asked the opponent party from where they have got him. Rahul had a slip of tongue saying there are 27,000 crore vacant jobs in Gujarat. Modi took full advantage of that gaffe for trading barbs at “shehzada”.
Soon, Rahul Gandhi lashed out at his bête noire for being discourteous. He continued his line of attack saying that only Adanis get benefit by doing business in Gujarat. Goutam Adani, head of Adani group though claims otherwise. In a string of interviews he said that he has good relationship with both BJP and Congress Chief Ministers. He shared a factoid that it was Chimanbhai Patel, then Congress CM of Gujarat who gave cheap lands to the group!!
Priyanka Gandhi has clarified that personal attacks don’t affect her. Gandhi scion said that she merely chooses to ignore those attacks. She though got a supporter in UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today. Without naming Robert Vadra, he said BJP is blowing the issue out of proportion and every state government gives land to industrialists for development. He said that MODI stands for “Model of Dividing India” and only SP can stop its surge.
Controversial BJP leader Giriraj Singh is in fresh trouble. Local court of Bokaro today rejected his anticipatory bail in the connection of alleged hate speech he made 10 days ago.
A case has also been filed against Baba Ramdev for his uncharitable remarks against dalits and Rahul Gandhi by Shyamak Rajak, who is a minister in Nitish Kumar’s government.
Meanwhile, Ramdev today broke EC’s diktat by campaigning in Himachal Pradesh. He alleged that Congress is putting pressure on EC to act against him.
Election Commission today said that any party can directly go to Court regarding false declaration in a candidate’s election affidavit. Earlier the entire process was routed through EC’s office. It has let its decision known to all the state Election Commission.
Campaigning ended Monday for the 7th phase of polling in April 30 in seven states and two Union Territories. In this phase nearly 14 crore Indians will decide the fate of 89 LokSabha constituencies.
Voting will take place in 17 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, seven in Bihar, 26 in Gujarat, one in Jammu and Kashmir, 13 in Punjab, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 9 in West Bengal, and one each in the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli as well as Daman and Diu.
Simultaneous assembly polls are scheduled to be held for 119 seats in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. Besides, by-polls are being held in Bihar (one), Gujarat (seven), Uttar Pradesh (two) and one in West Bengal.
These were all the news from a noisy Monday. We will be back with more tomorrow….