BJP complains to poll panel, row intensifies
press trust of india
Bhopal/New Delhi, 25 October
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s speech at a poll rally in Indore, where he made a reference to the communal riots at Muzaffarnagar, has come under the scanner of the Election Commission.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) today directed the Indore Collector to look into a complaint that Rahul’s speech delivered yesterday violated the model code of conduct, which is in force for the 25 November Assembly polls.
The complaint has been filed by state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar. “The Indore Collector has been directed to probe the complaint,” CEO Jaideep Govind told reporters. Mr
Tomar alleged that Rahul, through his speech, tried to “incite religious sentiments and create feeling of hatred” between two communities.
The reference to riots was made with an intention to disturb communal harmony in the State ahead of the Assembly elections, the BJP leader said in the complaint.
This particular section in the speech violated the model code of conduct, he alleged.
The Congress MP had yesterday claimed Intelligence agencies in Pakistan were approaching some victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots to lure them to terrorism.
In Delhi, the Congress accused the RSS and the BJP of sponsoring “ideological terrorism” and drew a parallel between the Opposition party and Pakistan’s Intelligence agency ISI, saying both rejoice over communal riots in the country.
The party also dismissed as “childish” the BJP’s criticism of Mr Rahul Gandhi for his statement that Pakistan’s ISI is trying to lure some Muslims in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar into terrorism. “It was natural that enemies from outside will fish in troubled waters and will try to encash on communal tensions fanned by our own people here,” party spokesperson Randeep Singh Soorjewala told reporters here.
“Rahul Gandhi acted as a responsible political leader in speaking the truth and forewarning people to beware of those seeking to divide communities. Going beyond politics, he forewarned the youths and the countrymen.
“What he has said is a fact that is known by the whole country that when the house is put on fire by insiders, the outsiders will try to benefit from it. When there will be communal tension in the country, outside forces inimical to India will try to take advantage,” Mr Soorjewala said.
He also rejected questions as to in what capacity an intelligence officer could brief Mr Gandhi, who is not in the government, about such a sensitive issue saying even he used to get such briefings by various officers when he was in the opposition.
“Forces, which are dividing the country are also ideological. RSS and BJP engage in some sort of ideological terrorism, when they try to demolish the fabric of the country,” he said.
Castigating the BJP for “fuelling communal passion”, party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said that whenever communal riots happen in the country only two sets of people rejoice– Pakistan’s ISI and India’s BJP.
Reveal names or apologise, Modi tells Cong V-P
Jhansi, 25 October: Mr Narendra Modi today attacked Mr Rahul Gandhi for saying that the ISI was in touch with Muslim youth of Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar and asked him to reveal the identity of such persons or apologise publicly for levelling “serious allegations” and “defaming” the entire community.
Citing Mr Gandhi’s remarks that he had been told about it by Intelligence personnel, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate questioned why Intelligence agencies “report” to Mr Gandhi, “who has never taken oath of secrecy”, and brief him on such sensitive matters.
Addressing a rally here, he also said that if the government has information about ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, being in touch with some youth in Uttar Pradesh, it should act, rather than “just give the news like a news agency”.
Addressing Mr Rahul Gandhi as a ‘shahzada’ (prince), Mr Modi referred to his comments yesterday and said he levelled “serious allegations against the youth in relief camps (of Muzaffarnagar) that they are hobnobbing with ISI. It is your responsibility to make public the names of such youth…. If you do not disclose the names, then you should apologise publicly for defaming an entire community.”
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said: “Rahul Gandhi should not speak irresponsibly… At one point he blames BJP for the riots and at the other he raises doubt on the dedication of Muslim youths… He should apologise to Muslims and if he cannot do that Sonia Gandhi should do it.” pti