The Janata Dal (United) on Friday advocated stringent action against Varun Gandhi,the BJP candidate from Pilibhit,for his anti-Muslim remarks,but stopped short of demanding that the BJP drop his candidature for Lok Sabha polls.
“We support strict action,be it Varun Gandhi or anyone else who crosses limits of decency,” JD(U) president Sharad Yadav said while speaking at a press conference. Asked if he would want the BJP to pull him out of the polls,Yadav said,”I cannot decide this matter; I don’t make unsolicited suggestions.”
Yadav did not agree with the suggestion that the controversy would damage the JD(U),as an ally of the BJP. “Nobody can raise a finger at our secular credentials,” Yadav shot back,adding “anyone saying something or a rooster crowing will not damage our party”. He recalled the secular legacy of his party and said “those who sing secular hymns also call us secular”. As for the Congress praise for the Bihar Chief Minister,the JD(U) chief said,”they are doing it to divert public attention from the state of disarray in the UPA camp.” Regarding other parties keeping away from the BJP,unlike the JD(U),Yadav said,”we are not doing anything on the sly; we have to forge an alliance because people of the country are giving fractured verdicts.”
Yadav refused to entertain questions on George Fernandes and Digvijay Singh,senior party leaders set to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Bihar as Independents after the denial of tickets. “I have said earlier whatever I had to say about George Sahib,I will not say anything more,” Yadav maintained. “What action would you take against them for defying the party,” he was asked,to which he replied,”what action can we take if someone fights as an Independent?”
Yadav did not believe this development implied any crisis in the party. “Every party is witnessing this phenomenon –people come and go during election time,” he said. Yadav argued that the JD(U) faces problems in just two-three constituencies out of a total of 26 (in Bihar) because some people are not accepting the party decision. The party will look into this.”
The JD(U) chief demanded the Government reveal the names of the Indians who had deposited money in Swiss Bank accounts. He said Indians with their combined deposits of $1,456 billion top the list. Obviously,this is ill-gotten money belonging to politicians,bureaucrats and corporate houses. “We will make it an election issue,” Yadav said demanding that all parties make their stand public on the issue.