M A I N   N E W S

Storm over Rahul remarks
Parties slam him for saying ISI luring UP riot victims 
BJP goes to EC
Vibha Sharma/TNS

New Delhi, October 25
A massive row has erupted over Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s public statements over the past two days —one that there are intelligence inputs of Pakistani agencies approaching victims of Muzaffarnagar riots to lure them to terrorism and the second charging the Opposition BJP with following the “politics of hate” and “dividing people”.

Accusing Rahul of “appearing to incite riotous behaviour”, the BJP today complained to the Election Commission (EC) on “wilful and blatant violation of the model code of conduct” by the Congress leader when he spoke at Churu and Alwar in Rajasthan on Wednesday.

Addressing a rally at Jhansi in UP, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi attacked Rahul Gandhi for saying that the ISI was in touch with Muslim youth of Muzaffarnagar. He asked him to reveal the identity of such persons or apologise publicly for levelling “serious allegations” and “defaming” the entire community.

Citing Gandhi’s remarks that he had been told about it by intelligence personnel, Modi questioned why intelligence agencies “report” to Gandhi, “who has never taken oath of secrecy.” In Delhi, head of the BJP election coordination committee R Ramakrishna said, “Besides actual utterances (of Rahul Gandhi), the impassioned manner in which these were delivered would appear to incite a riotous behaviour, which is not conducive to the atmosphere of peace and harmony in which the Election Commission is committed to conducting free and fair elections in the country.”

The party claimed Rahul’s activities “may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic”.

The BJP has asked Home Minister Suhilkumar Shinde in what capacity intelligence officials were briefing the Congress MP, who had no official role as far as the government functioning was concerned. Party leaders also hit out at the Intelligence Bureau (IB), asking how it could brief a person who was only an MP.

What he said
At a rally in Indore on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi claimed that intelligence agencies in Pakistan were approaching some victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots to lure them to terrorism

How is the ISI freely spreading its influence in the lanes of UP under your very nose? What are you doing about it?...you are behaving as a news agency, just giving news about what the ISI is doing. You have to act against them.

— Narendra Modi, BJP

Most unfortunate, say Muslim leaders
Muslim clerics on Friday slammed Rahul Gandhi’s statement that some Muslim youths from riots-ravaged Muzaffarnagar in UP were in touch with Pakistan’s ISI, and said these were “most unfortunate”. Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi said such statements not only painted the Muslim community in bad light, but also strengthened the communal forces.

I do not know who writes Rahul Gandhi’s speeches. By making such a statement about the minority community, he is once again trying to create tension in the country. — Atul Anjan, CPI leader





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