Bodeli: In a continuation of war of words in the run up to Lok Sabha elections, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Thursday demanded apology from Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for conducting religion-based survey among the Army jawans.
“UPA president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should apologize for their act of dividing Army on religious lines,” Modi said at an election rally here.
“What was the need for conducting such exercise on the basis of religion in the Army. This can divide the Army on communal lines. They are strength of our nation. How can you make a head count and ask which religion they belong to,” Modi said.
Modi’s latest salvo came after home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday criticized Modi on his version of Charar-e-Sharif incident.
Chidambaram has said that Modi’s version of the incident was a blatant lie and defame the Indian Army. He had asked for an apology from the Gujarat CM for belittling Army.
Modi on Thursday morning also sought apology from the home minister and said that he had misguided the people on Charar-e-Sharif incident in Kashmir, during his visit to Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Modi said Army was prevented from taking action against the militants hiding in the Charar-e-Sharif.
”Chidambaram said due to fire in the shrine the militants held up there had managed to escape. This is not true,“ Modi said, adding, the Army is capable of putting out fire not only in Charar-e-Sharif but in entire state of Jammu & Kashmir.
“By saying this Chidambaram wanted to brake the morale of the Army and that is why he should apologize,” he added.
Modi also alleged that Gandhi and Singh were adopting the policy of dividing the country by stating that resources of the country belong to the Muslim community.
“It is not like that. Country’s resources belongs to every poor of the country which include Muslims and other communities also,” the Gujarat chief minister said.
By making such statement PM and Gandhi are adopting vote bank politics, while BJP is for the development of the country, Modi said.
He appealed to elect BJP nominee Ramsinh Rathava from the tribal area for strengthening the hands of L K Advani for providing a strong government at the Centre.
Modi also questioned the action of UPA government in allowing the export of sugar from the country last year which was sold at Rs15 per kg in international market.
“Now the same UPA government has decided to import sugar at price of Rs20 per kg. What is the reason behind it?” he asked. He held wrong policies of the UPA govt responsible for the rise in sugar prices in the country.
Third Front is a ’drama’, says Pranab
Agartala: Comparing the ‘Third Front´ with a ‘drama´, senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said the it was ‘a conglomeration of some state parties in search of a Prime Minister´.
“The Third Front is like the drama, ‘Six Characters in Search Of An Author´ by Luigi Pirandello. In the drama the characters were searching for the author. The Third Front is conglomeration of some state parties in search of a Prime Minister”, he said.
Dismissing it away as a ‘dream´ the possibility of the ‘Third Front’ forming a government, Mukherjee told a press conference here that there could be no dispensation at the Centre without the help of either the Congress or the BJP.
“Formation of a government led by Third Front is a dream and if anybody wants to dream, he can dream, but whenever any government minus Congress or BJP was formed, it had to depend on either Congress or BJP’’, the senior Congress leader said.
He said, Congress was the single largest party in the country and after the Congress, BJP is the largest party. “So, the main fight is between BJP and Congress but in different form”, he added.
LS polls, a cakewalk for Sushma Swaraj
Vidisha: Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj who is the party nominee from this Parliamentary constituency is all set to have a smooth sailing election with nomination papers of her Congress rival Rajkumar Patel being rejected.
This is the first time that Sushma is contesting a Lok Sabha poll from Madhya Pradesh and this is virtually going to be a cakewalk for her.
She has been a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh for the last three years.
Her Congress rival, Rajkumar Patel’s nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny on grounds that he had not submitted the required ‘Form A´ in time.
Congress has not fielded any other candidate in Vidisha and this means that Sushma will almost have a walkover in the constituency.
Even before Patel’s nomination papers were rejected, Sushma had been touring all parts of Vidisha to get in touch with voters.
Sushma said that the rejection of Patel’s nomination papers did not mean much to her and that she would continue her campaign as before.
Vidisha is one of the most famous constituencies in Madhya Pradesh which has sent a number of prominent people to Lok Sabha. These include newspaper baron, Ram Nath Goenka, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Vajpayee was elected from Vidisha in 1991 but he also won from Lucknow then, so he resigned from here. Chouhan was also Lok Sabha Member from Vidisha.
Smaller parties cause of concern for BJP, Congress
Ahmedabad: Smaller parties like Maha Gujarat Janta Party (MJP), NCP, SP and BSP are giving sleepless nights to leaders of BJP and Congress, as their candidates may end up by becoming spoilsports for the candidates of mainstream parties.
In six parliamentary constituencies, candidates of smaller outfits would ensure that the contest would be tripartite, which would affect the chances of either BJP or Congress candidates.
There are a total of 359 candidates in the fray for 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, which would go for voting on 30 April.
Seats, where contest is going to be tripartite is Bhavnagar, Surat, Patan, Mehsana and Ahmedabad East, Bharuch and Surendranagar.
In Bhavnagar, BJP and Congress have fielded Kshatriya candidate while former BJP rebel and president of Maha Gujarat Janta Party (MJP) Gordhan Zadafia is also in the fray.
Zadafia is likely to cut into BJP votes, as he belongs to Patel community, which is electorally dominant community in the seat. Patels are considered a traditional vote bank of BJP and if Zadafia manages to split it, it would affect the chances of BJP’s Rejendrasinh Rana, who is seeking fifth term from here.