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EC hearing on CD issue leaves BJP speechless
April 20, 2007 16:30 IST
Widely known for their eloquence, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were left speechless and stammering during the Election Commission hearing time and again as their rivals threw a barrage of troubling questions at them over justification of the anti-Muslim CD.
Union Minister Kabil Sibal stunned party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi before the EC bench as he waved a copy of an English daily carrying the CD transcript that had 'Abbas' and 'Naqvi' in a voice-over purportedly targeting Muslims for their population, party sources said.
The Congress leader, the sources said, then handed over the copy of the newspaper to the bench as he asked Naqvi how he would justify the contents of the CD brought out by his colleagues in Uttar Pradesh.
The question rendered BJP leaders speechless for quite some time until Naqvi himself condemned the contents of the CD as an illustration of the 'Talibani' thought.
Counsel Bipin Malik of former prime minister V P Singh's Jan Morcha did not lose the opportunity to attack the BJP during the EC hearing for the arrest of its MP Babubhai Katara over a suspected immigration fraud.
Faced with demands from the Congress, the CPI (M) and the Jan Morcha for a public apology over the disc, the saffron party flung its ideology card, arguing the EC had no jurisdiction over what makes up secularism.
It also questioned the EC's powers to derecognise a party over charges of the model code of conduct.
Its apparent challenge to the EC's authority notwithstanding, the BJP, the sources said, admits its own leaders in Uttar Pradesh have plunged the party into an avoidable embarrassment.