After almost a decade, the former chief election commissioner of India, Mr J M Lyngdoh’s name has figured yet again in political speech. On Monday, addressing a gathering of BJP workers in Gandhinagar, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s PM nominee, Narendra Modi said that it was during Lyngdoh’s tenure as CEC in 2002 that Congress raked up the Godhra as an issue for election campaigning.
“It was in 2002 that a group of secular people used to shout that Modi would contest polls on Godhra issue. But we fought on development issue (and won). And by the next assembly polls in 2007, we were contesting on development issue while they were contesting on Godhra issue,” Modi said attacking Congress’ repeated mention of post-Godhra riots at the political rallies.
“I remember very well, that Mr Lyngdoh was the chief election commissioner in the 2002 (assembly) elections. A group of secular people (secular loko ni jamaat), was crying foul about fair elections then. They made all efforts to delay the polls by creating hurdles like complaints, court petitions etc,” Modi told the gathering after inaugurating ‘Shri Kamalam’ - the newly-built state party headquarters at Gandhinagar.
Modi further stated that Congress has remained evasive on the issues of inflation, corruption and good governance. “They do not have the courage to talk on these issues. These are the issues generally discussed every where by everyone. But congress leaders have never discussed these issues. Because they know if they do, they will be finished.”
BJP’s national leaders including Lal Krishna Advani, Om Mathur, who is also Gujarat in-charge, Balbir Punj and Smriti Irani remained present along with state BJP leaders like R C Faldu, Purshottam Rupala and Surendra Patel.
In his address, Advani commended Gujarat chief minister’s campaigning model for the Lok Sabha elections terming it to be a milestone in the political history of India. “No election since 1951 had seen such extensive campaigning as this one after the announcement of Narendrabhai as prime minister candidate,” Advani said.
In a satirical reference to the ruling Congress party, the BJP stalwart said, “Congress has tried hard during past 10 years to commit such mistakes that will make us win. I thank them for their efforts to help us ensure our win in next general elections.”
Reiterating Advani’s statement, Modi too maintained that Congress will fall to dust in upcoming elections. “The more Congress will do mud-slinging on BJP, the more our Lotus (party’s election symbol) will blossom. Mark my words; Congress will understand its mistakes only by 2025. And by then Congress will have no whereabouts to find. And I say this in total humbleness.”