Amid call for opposition unity to take on BJP post assembly polls in five states, NCP on Friday said the writing on the wall was clear for Congress and asked it to “respect” everyone to halt the saffron party’s juggernaut by stitching alliance. It also dismissed the BJP’s claims of “Congress-mukt Bharat” (Congress-free India), saying the situation was instead of a “Congress-yukt Bharat”, referring to the outcome of assembly polls in Punjab, Manipur and Goa.
The Congress gained majority in Punjab and emerged the single largest party in Manipur and Goa in the polls held during February and March.
“The message for the Congress (post Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh polls) is clear, respect everyone and expect everyone. In order to fight the BJP ideologically, politically and electorally, we should have alliance of all democratic political parties,” NCP leader D P Tripathi said.
Tripathi, a Rajya Sabha MP, said such alliance should be forged, beginning with polls scheduled for the current year including the President’s election.
Replying to a query, he supported Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for charging the BJP with “stealing” governments in Goa and Manipur.
“The BJP engaged in horse trading there,” he alleged.
Tripathi also criticised Goa Governor Mridula Sinha for allegedly consulting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before the BJP staked claim for forming government in the coastal state despite not being the single largest party there.
“She (Sinha) herself has said in an interview (to an English daily) that she spoke to the Finance Minister after the single largest party there, Congress, did not show up (to stake claim for forming government).
“This is unheard of… a Governor speaking to Finance Minister on such issues, unconstitutional,” Tripathi said.
To a question on lone NCP MLA from Goa, Churchill Alemao, backing the BJP during floor test, Tripathi said the party has already issued show cause notice to him and sought explanation.
He said the Election Commission is duty-bound to look into electronic voting machines tampering complaints made by some opposition parties after the assembly polls in five states.
The NCP leader also hit out at clerics in Assam for issuing “fatwa” against 16-year-old singer from the state, Nahid Afrin, asking her to stay away from music programmes as it is “against sharia”.
“The fatwa is against Islam and Constitution. Such people should be immediately arrested,” he said.
Tripathi also demanded that the Centre took steps and asked Pakistan to trace head priest of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah Syed Asif Nizami and his nephew Nazim Nizami, who have gone missing in the neighbouring country.
Meanwhile, India has taken up the matter with Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said.