The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge, Amit Shah, on Wednesday rejected the allegation that he spoke of “revenge” for the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots during his meeting with Jat leaders in Bijnor in western Uttar Pradesh last week.
The Election Commission on April 6 issued a notice to the BJP leader for violating the model code of conduct through his speeches made while campaigning in Uttar Pradesh. The UP Police had also registered an FIR against him.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Shah clarified he did not single out any community or political leader in his controversial speech. “All I had said to the crowd was that if injustice was meted out to them or their self-respect was hurt, they should avenge it by exercising their electoral franchise. I had told them if their sentiments were hurt, they should press the button on the voting machine, as time for using swords and arrows was history,” the senior BJP leader said.
Shah said the only way to counter the increasing prices and loss of jobs was to teach the UPA government a lesson by casting votes against them. “Did I single out any community? Did I ask them to take revenge against any political leader?” he retorted.
Shah urged the Central Election Commission to look into the functioning of the UP State Election Commission, which, he said, takes action against BJP and Congress leaders immediately, but is found lacking in action when it comes to issues relating to Samajwadi Party leaders such as Mulayam Singh Yadav, Azam Khan and Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh.
“My understanding is that the FIR against me was registered by a returning officer on the instructions of the State Election Commission, which, in a way, is part of the Central Election Commission. How is it then that I am served a separate notice by the CEC even after an FIR? Why has no action been taken against Ajit Singh who has said he wants to ‘throw the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi into the sea', or against Mulayam Singh Yadav and Azam Khan, who have been making poisoned speeches against Modi and me?” he asked.
Shah, who is behind the BJP’s crucial UP Lok Sabha elections campaign, said “anti-incumbency” against the government of UP and at the Centre was at its peak. “There is a wave for Modi in all of India, with women and youth strongly behind him. In UP, the Modi wave is more in rural areas as they are lagging in developments and opportunities. The BJP will break all past records in election results,” he said.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 10 seats in UP while the NDA got 15. On being asked what the electoral verdict would be for BJP’s rivals in UP, Shah said: “BSP will get votes, SP will get seats.”