Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Bhupinder Singh Hood with the party’s Ghaziabad Lok Sabha candidate Dolly Sharma at Murad Nagar, Ghaziabad, on Tuesday April 01, 2019.(Sakib Ali / HT Photo)
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Bhupinder Singh Hood with the party’s Ghaziabad Lok Sabha candidate Dolly Sharma at Murad Nagar, Ghaziabad, on Tuesday April 01, 2019.(Sakib Ali / HT Photo)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Government will be formed by Congress or BJP, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was addressing an election rally in Ghaziabad’s Muradnagar, held to seek votes for Congress’ Ghaziabad Lok Sabha candidate Dolly Sharma.
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad | By Peeyush Khandelwal
PUBLISHED ON APR 02, 2019 03:55 PM IST

Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Congress’ general secretary, said Monday that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were a fight between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and told voters that they should ignore the alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Azad, along with party leaders Pramod Tiwari and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had come for an election rally in Ghaziabad’s Muradnagar, where they sought votes for Congress’ Ghaziabad candidate Dolly Sharma.

He slammed the SP and the BSP, who are contesting the elections as alliance partners in Uttar Pradesh. The Rashtriya Lok Dal is the third alliance partner. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, incumbent Ghaziabad Member of Parliament VK Singh had defeated Raj Babbar of the Congress by 5.67 lakh votes.

“What is the thing that the SP and BSP are searching for? It is a fight at national level and not to form government in Uttar Pradesh. In UP, we consider that they have some weight if they contest jointly. But where are they at the national level? It is not a fight between Congress, SP and BSP. It is a fight between Congress and the BJP. The government will be formed by BJP or the Congress. If they (alliance) had a fight with the BJP they would have been with us. Do you see something? It is their fight to render votes useless and not to fight against the BJP,” he said.

“Do you see presence of SP or BSP in Jammu & Kashmir? Whether they have any presence in other states? Why are they acting like ‘begani shadi me Abdullah deewana’. If you want to defeat the BJP then vote here (in favour of the Congress),” he added.

Also Read | Congress fields management graduate Dolly Sharma from Ghaziabad constituency

The three Congress leaders were on a day’s visit to Ghaziabad and held three public rallies at Muradnagar, Loni and Shaheed Nagar (Sahibabad) in Muslim-dominated areas.

Azad slammed the BJP on various issues and alleged that the party is anti-Dalit, anti-minority and responsible for issues like price rise, unemployment and farmers’ suicides besides introducing schemes like demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). As a result of demonetisation and the GST, nearly 4.73 crore people were rendered unemployed, he added.

Azad told the audience that what they have seen in the past five years was just a “trailer” and if they (BJP) come to power again, the entire film would turn out to be a “very costly” affair.

“You will repent. Then you will call us but it would be very late by then. I seek votes not on the basis of religion... A terrorist has no religion. Who is this Azhar (Masood)? Who hijacked the plane (during Kandhahar hijacking case)? We arrested him in 1994. I want to congratulate Jammu & Kashmir police... Muslim policemen and would not even say the Hindu policemen. We did not release Masood,” Azad said.

He was referring to the Indian Airlines plane IC 814’s hijacking case of 1999 when the then NDA government had released dreaded terrorist Azhar Masood in exchange for 155 passengers who had been held hostage. Later, Masood was accused as a mastermind of the 2001 Parliament attack, the suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir state Assembly, the attack on the Pathankot air base and the latest Pulwama terror strike on February 14.

“But it was their (BJP) government in 1999. Then chief minister (of J&K) Farooq Abdullah threatened to resign after the prime minister and the defence minister pressurised him for Masood’s release. Finally, he was released and taken to Afghanistan,” he added.

He slammed the BJP and alleged that the BJP follows a route that those who abuse Muslims are Hindus and the secular Hindus are not Hindus.

“The Muslims take up six feet of land for burial and later become part of the land. So how are they considered anti India? We don’t play politics on the basis of religion. If I win on the basis of a religion then how will I serve people of other communities? Bharat is not the BJP and the BJP is not Bharat,” he added.

Also Read | Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Ghaziabad’s 12 candidates include an ex-army chief and a mechanic

Story Saved