PATNA/NEW DELHI: The Election Commission’s action against BSP chief Mayawati and other leaders for their communal vote appeals has apparently failed to deter other politicians. Congress leader and Punjab’s local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu faces a case of violation of the Model Code of Conduct during his campaign at Balrampur in north-east Bihar’s Katihar seat on Monday, where he issued a specific appeal to minority voters to ‘vote en bloc’ and not waste their strength in order to oust Modi-led NDA.”
A video clipping of his speech was sent to Katihar district returning officer by the BJP in which Sidhu was heard telling minorities, “Don’t consider yourself as being in a minority; you are in a majority of around 64 per cent to oust PM Narendra Modi.” BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Sidhu and lodged a complaint, along with a video clip of his speech, to the EC. Joining the nationalism debate with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Prasad alleged that divisive politics was in the DNA of the Opposition party.
Referring to Sidhu’s speech, he asked Vadra to familiarise herself with her party’s affinity with divisive voices who seek India’s fragmentation. “Priyanka talked about nationalism on Monday at a public meeting. A day after, Siddhu has asked minorities to gang up against the BJP and PM Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. When the ‘tukdetukde gang’ raised slogans in JNU, Congress president Rahul Gandhi went to show solidarity with such people. Priyanka needs to understand Congress’s legacy of divisive politics,” Prasad said.