In his reply to the Election Commission’s notice, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh has emphasised that he had not made the “Hindu terrorism” remark attributed to him.
After seeking a week’s time from the poll panel, Singh sent a detailed reply on Saturday.
He said he had been speaking in the context of a sting operation which showed acts of violence by the BJP and VHP members. “It was in this context that I further stated that the fight against terrorism must equally be abhorred and repudiated, whether involving Hindu terrorism or Muslim terrorism,’’ his reply said.
Singh added that as a responsible person with several decades of public life, he had never indulged in any activity which caused tensions between communities.
While urging the Election Commission to withdraw the notice, Singh also said that if the poll panel wanted to take the matter further, it should call upon the complainant to furnish concrete evidence rather than make baseless complaints.
He also said he reserved the right to produce news reports and audio video recording of the December 2 press conference
where he was alleged to have made the remarks.
(By Saroj Nagi)
Central jitters for state Congress leaders
Gujarat Congress leaders remained on tenterhooks throughout the campaign. What worried them was the presence of a large number of Congress leaders from the Centre and other states. Why on earth? Because the Congress visitors included some aggressive champions of secularism, and Gujarat Congressmen remained mortally scared that they would make some blatantly pro-Muslim remark, which would boomerang on the party, affecting its electoral prospects.
Indeed a top state leader took charge of briefing every visiting stalwart on what to say, and what to avoid. The state unit was particularly relieved when central ministers Arjun Singh and Ambika Soni departed. And delighted that Lalu Yadav never made an appearance at all.
Modi ‘interrupts’ Vaghela speech
Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela was waxing eloquent before the mike on the podium when — just to take a breath — he paused. Precisely at that moment a loudspeaker fitted on a passing rickshaw blared: “Kamal chhap par mohar lagao, Modi ko vijaye banao” (Vote for the lotus symbol and make Modi victorious).
Such was the timing that the crowd burst out laughing. Vaghela himself, too, smiled wryly. But he did save the situation a little by quipping in response to the slogan: “Vinaash kaale vipreet budhi” (the mind goes for a toss when destruction is near).
Gujarati ‘Bachchan’ provides comic relief
He is known as the Amitabh Bachchan of Gujarati cinema.
He has acted in over a hundred Gujarati films and, even after being elected on a BJP ticket during the 2002 elections, he has continued to devote most of his time to films. People say that he attended the assembly session for barely a week during the past five years. But come election time, he is very visible.
The top leadership of the BJP has been using Naresh Kanodia to provide a bit of comic relief — just to normalize things a bit in the heat and dust of serious campaign.
Kanodia is himself a candidate this time as well but — rather than at his constituency — he is present at most major meetings addressed by top BJP leaders.