Indian Express

Sonia-Imam meet: BJP moves EC

BJP alleged that it was her attempt for a “communal polarisation” Tweet This
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While Modi had accused Congress of making every effort to communalise elections for seeking Muslim votes, Sonia rejected the charge and dubbed it as a “a joke”. (Reuters)

The BJP on Thursday moved the Election Commission against Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s recent meeting with Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, alleging that it was her attempt for a “communal polarisation”, hours after CEC V S Sampath assured of an action on the issue if the poll body received a complaint.

The BJP’s memorandum asked the EC to intervene, saying it was expected that the Shahi Imam would call Muslims after Friday prayers to support Congress. Asking the EC to take a “serious note” of these developments, BJP has requested preventive steps be taken to ensure that the party was “not frustrated by determined spoilers who are aiming at communal conflagration”.

Earlier in Jammu, Sampath, replying to a question on BJP’s allegations, said, “Generally in such matters we take cognisance on receipt of a complaint… As soon as we receive that (complaint), it will be definitely examined and further action taken.” He was there to review preparations for Lok Sabha polls in J&K.

The BJP on Wednesday had attacked Sonia for allegedly meeting Muslim leaders and appealing them to ensure that votes from the community do not get divided. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar had said this was “an insult to Muslims” and had expressed hope that the Election Commission would take sou moto cognisance of this issue.

While Modi had accused Congress of making every effort to communalise elections for seeking Muslim votes, Sonia rejected the charge and dubbed it as a “a joke”.

In the memorandum submitted to the EC, BJP national convenor (election cell) R Ramakrishna and party’s national vice president M A Naqvi said, “Congress Party which boasts of its role as a messiah of secularism is of late turning totally communal and making desperate attempts to throw a red herring and drag the BJP into a messy dialogue on religion driven electoral politics.The latest attempt in their mission is the reported long meeting between the Congress president (Sonia) and the Jama Masjid Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, on Tuesday April 1 at her residence.”

The BJP alleged said that the meeting with the cleric was not just a courtesy call, but it came after considerable “preparatory work”. The BJP alleged that during his meeting between with the Imam on March 31, Congress’s Rajiv Shukla had invited the cleric to Sonia’s residence.

EC seeks report on Modi flight delay

Jammu: The Election Commission has sought a report from the Civil Aviation Ministry over BJP’s complaint about deliberately delaying the flight of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.”We have received a formal complaint from BJP about delay in the scheduled flight of Narendra Modi and we have asked for a factual report from the Civil Aviation Ministry.

An action will be definitely taken in the matter,” said Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told continued…

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