Tamil Nadu Assembly Polls: BJP asks EC to stop Rahul Gandhi from Campaigning; Open cracks in DMK-Congress alliance over Seat-Sharing

    06-Mar-2021   
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TN BJP has moved Election Commission against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who was in Tamil Nadu for campaigning last week.
 
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s Tamil Nadu trip was rightly described by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as on picnic to the state in the garb of electioneering. He dived to sea, caught fish, cooked country foods, did gymnastics, choreography, interviewed roadside chai-walls, tender coconut and ice apple traders, accosting children on roads. His sister Priyanka while canvassing in Assam, turned a green tea leaves plucker and did all the stunts for votes.
Interestingly in Tamil Nadu, all Rahul Gandhi’s programmes were arranged in private government aided Christian especially Roman Catholic educational intuitions. He interacted with handpicked, pre-chosen girl students. To impress them with his prowess in sports, gymnastics, choreography, interviewing skills, he challenged them or asked them to compete with him in all these disciplines. The clergies who were on the dais forgot their role, played and danced with Rahul. He turned his electioneering in the state into a picnic or holidaying sojourn. His speech, actions and childish pranks, many said, proved his calibre, lacked maturity and unfit to rule the country.
 
TN BJP on 4th March petitioned the Election Commission seeking to restrain Rahul from campaigning in the state for the April 6 assembly polls for his alleged model code of conduct violations. TN BJP Chief L Murugan and election liaison committee in-charge V Balachandran submitted the petition to Chief Electoral Officer Sathyabrata Sahoo at his office. In the petition, the party alleged that Rahul’s campaign in St. Joseph’s Matric Higher Secondary School in Mulagumodu on March 1 was akin to an election campaign in school premises. He violated the model code of conduct. Rahul tried to incite violence during his interaction with students. Quoting Rahul’s speech BJP said, “ the comparison of the current situation with that of pre-independence days during the British rule and inciting the youth for another freedom struggle. It was made with the intent to cause hatred, contempt, and excite disaffection towards the government established bylaws.
 
While answering a question Rahul said, “ there is a lot of anger being spread in the country, lot of fear; that is what we have to fight. We have to fight the division, anger, fear and once again make India happy, comfortable, fearless and united”. BJP said even 70 years after India attained freedom, Rahul’s call for another freedom struggle is amounted to inciting violence. During the election time, he addressed the students like a campaign. BJP also requested Election Commission to direct the police to register an FIR against Rahul under sections 109 (abetment) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code. BJP said Rahul’s political campaign in the educational institution violated provisions of the model code of conduct for which strict action including ‘prohibitory orders for his poll campaign is needed’.
 
While addressing a rally in Kanyakumari he expressed his wish to revive the ‘Kamaraj rule’. He did not mention this while he was in Coimbatore, Puducherry or other places where earlier he spoke. In Kanyakumari district Kamaraj community people, Christians are in a considerable number, who tilt the victory in any poll. Political commentator Bala Gauthaman told your correspondent that Rahul did not know that his grandmother Indira Gandhi not only dethroned the Congress rule in Tamil Nadu and its CM Kamaraj. Elaborating further, he said “In 1971 assembly elections, Indira Gandhi in order to defeat the Congress-led by Kamaraj, did not contest in all the constituencies and supported DMK. In the same year, it contested only 10 Lok Sabha constituencies leaving the 29 to DMK. It would show the amount of hatred and vengeance against Kamaraj. Today, to woo the Nadar community, Rahul praised Kamaraj forgetting what her grandmother did for the grand old party in Tamil Nadu and him. Kamaraj was defeated in Kanyakumari in the 1971 elections. When Kamaraj ( who was the president of the party) said he was not consulted while taking devaluation measure, Indira Gandhi said was he an economist to consult? She also conspired at midnight and proposed Nijalingappa to file nomination for the All India Congress Committee only to stop Kamaraj from contesting. Even Kamaraj’s death, Indira Congress’s role was behind”.
 
Gauthaman pointed out “ after the proclamation of Emergency, Kamaraj said Indira was possessed by evil spirits. Unable to bear a declaration of emergency, he died within three months of emergency. Did Rahul know that DMK denigrated Kamaraj with false allegations and propaganda? Rahul wanted to revive Congress but not by his party. Kamaraj was a simple, honest, loyalty to the party. But his father and mother enjoyed cruise at sea in naval warship along with foreign nationals. How can Congress give corrupt-free honest governance, which had the dubious distinction of doing corruptions in all five Pancha Boothas ( water, earth, air, fire and sky)”.
 
Meanwhile, there are visible cracks in DMK led alliance as the deadlock in seat-sharing parleys with Congress continues. The stubborn stand of DMK not yielding to requests of Congress to give more seats; enraged the Congress leaders now wishes to go alone or align with any other combination. At the end of the talk with DMK leaders, no progress has been made. TN Congress president KS Alagiri broke down while addressing party seniors. It is learnt that KS Alagiri was addressing the Executive Committee Members of the party when he breakdown in tears and chocked. He said, “DMK has shamed Congress in seat-sharing. He said he had not felt such humiliation in his lifetime”. In the closed-door meeting at the party office in Sathyamurthy Bhavan, senior party leader Veerappa Moily, TN congress in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao and others were present.
 
He explained to them the ordeal during the first round of seat-sharing talks with the DMK. He shared his experience with his senior colleagues that DMK had insulted them during the discussion. Congress wants ‘respectable number of seats”, while the DMK has been saying only 26 seats.
 
Congress also held parallel talks with Kamal Hasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM). It triggered speculation that Congress may bid goodbye to DMK only to align accommodative MNM. DMK in a pre-poll alliance has allotted three seats to the Indian Union Muslim League and six seats to Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and another six Communist Party of India (CPI). CPM is likely to get the same number of seats.