The Congress and the Trinamool Congress Monday approached the Election Commission seeking action against religious symbolism by the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a rally in Faizabad on Monday.
Demanding an FIR against Modi and derecognition of his party, the Congress said Modi had violated the election code of conduct by using an image of Lord Ram as backdrop of a stage where he addressed a meeting in Faizabad.
Congress leaders led by Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora and union minister Kapil Sibal visited the EC office seeking action against Modi.
“The BJP and Modi used portrait of Lord Rama strategically placed behind the podium from where the speech was being delivered by Modi. The headgear of Lord Rama fit on the head of Modi… when he was delivering the speech which deceived the gullible voter,” the complaint by AICC legal department secretary K C Mittal said.
The Trinamool Congress wrote to the Election Commission demanding action against Modi for “seeking votes in the name of religion”. This came even as party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded that the BJP leader should be arrested.
Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’Brien said the party had submitted photographs and television footage of the backdrop of the stage for Modi’s rally in Faizabad.
Addressing an election meeting at Bongaon in North-24 Paraganas district bordering Bangladesh during the day, Mamata Banerjee attacked Modi saying, “He has no right to become the prime minister. This is a violation of the model code of conduct. Instead, he should be sent to jail with ropes tied to his waist. He should be arrested.”
Meanwhile, in a separate complaint to EC, the Congress raised the issue of booklets being circulated in Amethi. It said these booklets published by Sanskriti Rakshak Sangh “contain material which spread religious and communal hatred and contain fake, malicious and obscene matter being printed and circulated with the singular purpose to influence and seek vote for BJP.”
BJP defence: Ram Rajya is good governance
NEW DELHI: In an attempt to play down alleged Hindutva overtones to Narendra Modi’s rally in Faizabad on Monday, the BJP stressed that “Ram Rajya” signifies “good governance”.
“In our tradition ‘Ram Rajya’ has been associated with good governance,” senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said at a press conference in response to a question on the backdrop at Modi’s rally in Faizabad Friday.
The Election Commission has sent the Faizabad candidate a notice; Sinha sought to play that down, saying the BJP will reply to any notice that will be received by it.
The former finance minister came down against the Congress-led UPA’s “economic mismanagement”, saying it has taken the country to its “worst crisis”, rejected suggestions of stabilisation of the economy and dismissed the finance ministry claims of having controlled the fiscal deficit.