BJP Tries Damage Control After Modi's EC Challenge - The New Indian Express

BJP Tries Damage Control After Modi's EC Challenge

Published: 05th May 2014 08:00 AM

Last Updated: 05th May 2014 08:01 AM

Even as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi challenged the Election Commission to take action against him again, his party tried to roll it back, stating that he was only a “suggestion”.

In Asansol on Sunday morning, Modi accused the Election Commission of not acting fairly and targeting him, pointing out that there were complaints of booth rigging in West Bengal, Bihar and Western Uttar Pradesh. “Why are you not acting? What is your intention? If you feel wrong about what I am saying now, then you are free to lodge another case against me,” Modi told an election rally.

The EC had earlier made the Gujarat police to file a case for violating code of conduct by flashing the party symbol within 200 metres of a polling booth.

Within hours of the Asansol speech, BJP spokesperson M J Akbar said the attack on EC was only a suggestion, which had been made by other parties too.

“No... certainly not. He is just making a suggestion as any other political leader would do, which by the way other political parties in West Bengal have also made. The Left has also made,” he said.

Earlier, Modi had said that he was making a “very serious allegations” against EC.

“You have failed to stop rigging and violence in these areas. False cases have been filed against our candidate Babul Supriyo. The Election Commission’s work is to protect people. I request you to fulfil your responsibilities in the right way,” Modi said at the campaign rally.

Modi, whom West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had dubbed a “paper tiger”, also shot back at the TMC chief, asking what would she do if she came face-to-face with a real tiger given that she was already afraid of a “paper tiger”.

“Why are you so afraid of this paper tiger? If a real tiger comes face to face with you, what will you do?” Modi asked while addressing public meetings in Bankura and Asansol Lok Sabha constituencies.

Mamata, without naming Modi, had referred to him as a “paper tiger” after the latter questioned the sale of her painting for `1.86 crore at a rally at Sreerampur.

At all poll campaign meetings, she had been saying: “He is nothing but a paper tiger. The real Royal Bengal tiger exists only in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.”

Referring to the Sharada chit fund scam, he said: “Tigers do not shield those who loot. I will understand that you are a real tiger if you put the culprits behind bars and ensure that the money looted from poor people is returned. Why is the tiger neck-deep in corruption?

“What kind of a government exists in Bengal when some people can register a company, pose for photos with some leaders and then in the name of a chit fund mobilise funds of the poor and cheat them?” he asked.

The fact that Modi had done meticulous home work about West Bengal was evident when he raised the issue of the Teachers Eligibility Test scam in which only TMC supporters were allegedly given jobs. “What were the parameters in giving such government jobs? A printout was taken from a computer and appointment letters was issued to aspirants. What were they asked during the interviews? It was a big game of corruption,” he said.

He spoke at length explaining his stand on infiltration from Bangladesh and alleged that “vote-bank politics by the Left, Congress and Didi” was destroying the state.

Modi reiterated his plan for the state’s development if he came to power at the Centre and explained his “dual advantage plan for Bengal,” saying, “Bengal has been always neglected by the Centre but I will work for your development sitting in Delhi. Let there be a competition among us to do good for Bengal. Even your Didi will have to run for that cause. It will be double advantage for you.”

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