Chikballapur (Karnataka), Apr 13: Claiming that the BJP has a tactical understanding with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily demanded to know the basis of Imran Khan’s support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the ongoing elections.
The former Union Minister also charged Modi with adopting a “Hitler-kind of attitude”, stoking an “atmosphere of hatred in the country and thereby destroying all institutions”.
If the Congress comes to power, Moily said it will initiate probes into the functioning of the BJP government during the past five years in which the “nation was misled and kept in the dark” over several important issues like Rafale deal.
“Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has openly supported Narendra Modi as a pre-condition for talks on bilateral resolution of the Kashmir dispute which clearly shows that there is a tactical understanding between the BJP and the Pakistan Prime Minister,” the Congress leader told .
Khan’s support and also the suggestion that Modi would bring in better ties between the two nations indicate a secret understanding, perhaps compromising the interest of India on Kashmir, he said.
Observing that a war-kind of situation always prevailed during the BJP regime, Moily said, “Everytime the BJP comes to power, there is an escalation of hostility between India and Pakistan, it may be Kargil or attack on Indian Parliament under the Vajpayee government or Balakot and Pulwama under the current regime.”
Ridiculing Modi for his 56-inch chest claim, the former Karnataka chief minister said, “Where is the need to demonstrate even if he has one? Politics of love is totally alien to him which has vitiated the political atmosphere in the country.”
As a result of the 56-inch chest narrative, Pakistan has for the first time openly admitted that it has an atom bomb, he added.
Asserting that the Congress will probe functioning of the Modi government if it comes to power, Moily said, “We will investigate all actions taken during the current BJP’s tenure, that include demonetisation, the Balakot attack and sacking of intelligence chief and ferrying of CRPF personnel in a bus despite intelligence input to the contrary.”
On Congress’s prospects in the current Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, Moily said the party will win at least 21 seats out of 28 in alliance with the JD(S).
“The Congress and the JD(S) will win at least 21 seats. It could be possible to repeat 1971 when all 27 seats were won by the Congress. This is mainly because the Modi wave is fast waning and he is assuming a Hitler-kind of personality which will be devastating for the country in case he is put in any position of authority,” he said.
Both the Congress and the JD(S) are working as a team forgetting differences with a sole aim to defeat the BJP, which has terribly failed to implement its 2014 election promises and created an atmosphere of “fear” among people, he said.
The Congress and the JD(S) are in alliance contesting in 21 seats and 7 seats respectively in the current Lok Sabha elections.
Moily, however, refused make any assessment on the number of seats that the BJP or the Congress would win at the national level saying it will definitely be a Congress-led government in which regional parties may have a say based on pre and post-poll alliances.
Expressing concern over the possibility of EVMs being rigged in this election, the former union minister said the Supreme Court judgement on VVPATs is “too little to check manipulation” as monitoring five machines in a constituency is too less.
He accused the BJP of introducing “politics of hatred” and said, “This must end and pave way for politics of love. This can only be started by Rahul Gandhi.”
Modi, he said, has all qualities like “false ego and anger”, which is not desirable from a national leader.
He further said that the BJP talks of corruption but is least interested in checking it.
“It was during my tenure as Union Law Minister that the Congress brought in a Lokpal bill but it has taken five years for the BJP to implement it and that too under pressure of the impending elections,” he said.
“Rahul Gandhi has been consistently fighting on the issue of corruption by bringing the issue of Rafale deal. Now even the apex court sees something amiss and agreed to the probe,” he said.
Bijbehara: 40 polling booths with zero votes
Bijbehara, Apr 23: Home turf of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Bijbehara assembly segment under the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, reported highest concentration of polling stations where zero votes were cast.
Among the 65 booths in Anantnag where zero votes were cast, 40 were located in Bijbehara, one of the six assembly constituencies where voting took place in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections Tuesday.
People cast their votes in 714 polling stations in Anantnag. Bijbehara, the home constituency of PDP president Mufti, had 120 polling booths set up for a population of 93,289 people.
A total of 1,893 electorate or 2 per cent exercised their franchise when the polling ended at 4 pm. The voting time for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat was reduced in view of security considerations. The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, where voting took place in the first phase, saw 17 polling stations with zero while the Srinagar Parliamentary seat, which went to polls in the second phase, recorded zero votes in 90 booths.
Polling in Anantnag, which has 16 assembly seats, has been divided into three phases. The first phase was completed on Tuesday while remaining two will be held on April 29 and May 6. The decision for staggered polling was taken keeping in view the security situation in South Kashmir which has seen many encounters between security forces and militants.
On February 14, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a miliant attack in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Clubbing of booths kept voters away
Srinagar, Apr 23: The clubbing of the polling booths in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency Tuesday discouraged many voters, who preferred to stay at home rather than walking long distances to cast their votes.
District Anantnag, which went for polls first in the three-phased schedule Tuesday, recorded 13.63 voter turnouts in six segments including Anantnag, Dooru, Kokernag, Shangus, Bijbehara and Pahalgam.
Scores of the voters said that many gave up their plans to cast vote after authorities announced clubbing of the polling booths in the constituency.
In Lisser Chawalgam village of Kokernag segment, at least three polling stations catering to different locations were accommodated in a local higher secondary school.
It included polling station of Shalnaad village as well, which is at least three kilometers away from the station.
Those who casted their votes claimed that they had to enter secretly into the booth as the area had witnessed stone pelting.
“More people could have come to vote if the locations of the polling booths were not changed at the last moment. Many women didn’t cast their votes as they too had to travel kilometres to reach to the polling station,” said a voter, who had come from Shalnaad to cast his vote at higher secondary school Lisser.
Similarly polling booths in rural areas of Anantnag, Pahalgam too were clubbed, which reportedly affected the voting percentage of these areas.
“South Kashmir usually witnesses low voting percentage. The change in the location of polling booths has further the participation,” said a polling officer.
National Conference Candidate for Anantnag, Retired Justice Hasnain Masoodi, told The Kashmir Monitor that the clubbing of the polling booth was the main reason behind the low voting percentage in many areas.
“The polling booths of Jeshnaad and Makawora have been accommodated in government buildings, which are five to eight kilometers away from these villages. It has made the entire voting exercise inconvenient for the people,” he said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier also said that clubbing of the polling stations for Parliament elections in Jammu and Kashmir will affect the participation of people in the elections.
Security bandobast not up to the mark: Mir
Srinagar, Apr 23: The Congress Candidate from Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency Ghulam Ahmad Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit.
Mir, in a statement, also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that “the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.”
“I express my gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag,” he said saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free.
Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag.
“The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir,” he said.
Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident-free elections.
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