BHOPAL: For the opposition BJP, the October 21 by-election to Jhabua assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh is turning out to be an India Vs Pakistan battle.
Leader of Opposition in the MP Vidhan Sabha and senior BJP leader Gopal Bhargava has triggered a political controversy ahead of the by-election by terming the poll battle as India Vs Pakistan contest.
"Right now the country's pride is at stake, so this isn't a normal poll contest between two parties, but instead a battle between India and Pakistan," Bhargava said while addressing an election rally in support of party candidate Bhanu Bhuria in Jhabua town ahead the candidate's nomination papers filing procession on Monday.
"You (electorate) have to make the choice as to who you'll vote for. On one hand, you've our candidate Bhanu bhai (Bhanu Bhuria) who represents India, while on the other hand is Kantilal Bhuria (Congress candidate) who represents Pakistan. Now you've to decide what message will your vote will send, because if Bhanu Bhai (BJP candidate) loses the by-poll it will send a message that the representative of a government which backs Pakistan (Congress government) emerged victorious and the representative of the party (BJP) which backs India lost the battle. Such result will symbolise India lost the battle," said Bhargava.
Later, when queried by journalists about his India Vs Pakistan statement, the ex-MP Minister said the Congress fosters terrorism and Pak supportive ideology, which is what he meant to say.
Taking objection to Bhargava's public statements, the ruling Congress complained in the matter to the Election Commission. In the complaint to CEO MP in Bhopal, the Congress alleged that Bhargava through his speech describing the Congress candidate as a representative of Pakistan has tried to stir up the patriotic sentiments of people to influence the by-election. "This amounts to a poll code violation and comes under category of crime, hence a case of model poll code violation should be registered against Bhargava," the Congress demanded.
In the October 21 by poll to Jhabua assembly seat Congress has fielded ex-union minister and tribal strongman Kantilal Bhuria, while the BJP's nominee Bhanu Bhuria is contesting first assembly poll on BJP ticket