February 20, 2017 9:00:46 am
The Congress party is likely to approach the Election Commission over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at a rally in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday in which he said that the ruling Samajwadi Party government was biased in its treatment of different communities. “Gaon mein agar kabristan banta hai, to gaon mein shamshaan bhi banana chahiye. Agar Ramzan mein bijli milti hai, to Diwali mein bhi milni chahiye. Agar Holi mein bijli milti hai, to Eid par bhi bijli milni chahiye. Bhedbhav nahin hona chahiye (If a village gets a graveyard, it should get a cremation ground too. If there is electricity during Ramzan, there should be electricity during Diwali too. If there is electricity during Holi, there should be electricity during Eid too. There should not be any discrimination),” the Prime Minister had remarked.
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Immediately after his statement surfaced in the media, it drew criticism from Opposition political parties and citizens on social media who criticized the PM for ‘using communal tactics’. On Monday, KC Mittal, the Secretary of Legal and Human Rights department of Congress party told news agency ANI that they will ‘file a complaint with Election Commission, against PM Modi, over highly deplorable statement in Fatehpur rally’.
The Prime Minister’s statement came at a time when polling in third phase of Assembly elections in the state was underway in 69 seats of 12 districts. The elections are being held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh. The Supreme Court, in January, had stated that seeking votes on the basis of ‘religion, caste ,race, community or language was not legal’.
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However, within days of SC announcement, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former UP CM Mayawati, during one of her speeches, openly urged the Muslim community to support her party during the elections. PM Modi has been vigorously campaigning for BJP in the UP elections as the face of the party which has not yet announced its Chief Ministerial candidate. He is also a Member of Parliament from the Varanasi constituency in UP.
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