BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who flexed a controversy following his comments on Narendra Modi’s critics, by saying at a gathering in Godda district of Jharkhand,”those who want to stop Narendra Modi (from becoming prime minister) are looking towards Pakistan. In the coming days, they will have no place in India. They will only have place in Pakistan.” The remarks were made in the presence of former BJP President Nitin Gadkari, something that has further added to the party’s embarrassment. Rajnath Singh later asked the Bihar leader to refrain from making such comments, which “hurt the party’s interests”. But refuting Rajnath’s advice, Giriraj said “I stand by my statement,” quickly adding that his words were directed only at “Pakistan-parast log (those favouring Pakistan)”.
The country is voting with the clear intention of making Modi the PM. Post elections, under no circumstances a regional party with 10 to 15 MPs should be allowed to blackmail or dictate terms to change the PM candidate. It will be rude, if BJP accepts such an ally. It will be better to go for a re-poll than succumbing to blackmailers.
The Opposition slammed the Bihar leader, demanding action against him by the Election Commission. Now the question is that, will they send all the parties that do not come under NDA to Pakistan? I think 90 per cent of the people will have to be in Pakistan, as they won’t vote for Modi. Singh’s comments, coming back to back of senior leader Amit Shah’s alleged hate speeches, have provided more ammunition to the Opposition which has reinforced its attack on the BJP, accusing it of pursuing a divisive agenda. The saffron party, led by Narendra Modi, has centred its campaign around development, consciously steering clear of any issue perceived to polarize votes.
BJP is a party that is constantly struggling to disguise its sectarian and narrow view of India’s history and future. Once in a while, someone ‘slips up’ and gives us a glimpse of the true nature of Hindutva as an ideology that strikes at the heart of the democratic ideals that underpin the nation. Worrying! This is not the first time such tempers are shown by the BJP personnel. Recently, an English news channel had shown a debate on ‘Bollywood supporting Secularism’. When the panelists were talking about the importance of protecting secularism, Anupam Kher has discounted it by angrily shouting ‘India will become Pakistan’ and further went to say that for him ‘Nationalism is first rather than Secularism’. This is the rigid mindset of BJP in general and it is not possible to change it.
Irrespective of any party coming to power, what is most heartening is the massive voter’s turnout in the fifth phase. Crucial phase has witnessed the heavy turnout. The average voting percentage across 12 States comes to around 66 per cent, which indicates that there is both a change in attitude and a yearning for change. Another question I want to raise here is, will Election Commission take any precaution for those who are travelling on the day of polling? EC should come up with some idea so that these citizens also exercise their franchise. This will boost the percentage of voters who cast their vote. Modi is being promoted as PM candidate and the emergence of new party called Aam Aadmi Party has created a storm and voters have understood their rights and power. This huge turnout is for change, and everyone is expecting for a better change. However, these types of unwanted statements from leaders’ mouth are damaging their party’s prospects. The high voting percentage is definitely making the 16th General Election much more interesting for politicians, the media and the public alike. This development is good for a strong democracy and has been made possible by awareness campaigns. At a time, when the stakes are high for all the leading parties; it will be interesting to know whether the NOTA option has been exercised. People want equal opportunities. Doles and sops offered by political parties to win over marginalised communities will only further ghettoise their existence. What is required is an environment where people can grow and improve economically. Let us hope that the heavy turnout reflects this. All is happening well, the efforts are being paid.
On the other hand, the irresponsible comments by leaders are not taken in a good spirit. Singh is a staunch Modi supporter. He had expressed his unwillingness over BJP’s alliance with Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP. He had also wanted to contest from Begusarai but had to accept Nawada. The Election Commission is likely to examine if Singh’s statements are a violation of the poll code. His statements are clearly over the top, but seem to reflect an increasingly polarised election battle. North Bihar is locked in a charged contest. If Giriraj Singh expresses “regret” then Commission will allow him to continue by doing the “good work” of dividing the country into more parts. This is what we have seen always happening and EC has failed to control this.