Slamming as "fascist" Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's pitch for a "Congress Mukt Bharat", Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday reached out to all non-BJP parties on the plank of secularism.
"Isn't Modi and now BJP's slogan of Congress Mukt Bharat Fascist? For would all other non-BJP, non-communal political parties pl respond," Singh said on microblogging site Twitter.
Singh's bid to reach out to "all non-BJP, non-communal parties" comes at a time when there is a realisation in both national parties that the next Lok Sabha election could ultimately be a game of alliances.
While the Congress had added a new ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in the United Progressive Alliance kitty a few months back, Subramanian Swamy's Janta Party announced its plan to merge with the BJP a few days back.
Addressing a rally in Hyderabad recently, Modi had invoked the legacy of N T Ramarao urging all non-Congress parties to come together with apparent specific signal to the Telugu Desam Party to join the NDA bandwagon.
Former NDA ally Janata Dal-United dumped its 17 years-old-ally BJP in June this year and there are indications that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is soft on the Congress and hence the party could be a possible UPA ally. The Shiv Sena and Akali Dal remain a part of the NDA. Much in the next Lok Sabha will also depend the way the regional parties like the BJD, TDP, YSR Congress, JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party behave. The RJD, SP and BSP are currently supporting the UPA government from outside.
The Congress general secretary, who is also the All India Congress Committee-in-charge for Andhra Pradesh, hit out at the BJP for not talking about its earlier slogan of "Bhay, Bhook and Bharashtachar Mukt Bharat". "The BJP's earlier slogan Bhay, Bhook, Bharashtachar Mukt Bharat; Modi's slogan Congress Mukt Bharat. Now in Modi's BJP, Bhay Mukt, Bhrashtachar Mukt Bharat no longer an issue. Would the BJP think tank or spokespersons please respond," Singh said in two other tweets.
The BJP has for last few months repeatedly given call to voters for a ‘Congress Mukt Bharat.’ During his speech in Hyderabad, Modi had said, "The Congress party is a burden on this nation. Today. I want to remember
NTR when I come here. NTR did service not only to Andhra but the whole of India when he gave boost to anti-Congress politics. It was NTR's efforts that paved the way for formation of a non-Congress government at the Centre. "I appeal to all political parties in Andhra Pradesh, what can be a supreme tribute to NTR than providing a non-Congress government," Modi had said.
Another party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed also took potshots at the BJP over its mission '272+' and Modi's reported claim that 25 per cent Muslims in Gujarat had voted for him in the assembly elections. "First it was 272 seats, then the BJP says under Modi we will try to attract Muslims. Wondering whether it is campaign committee or comedy circus?," Ahmed said in a tweet.
In a key meeting of the BJP on Sunday, the top party leadership, including its President Rajnath Singh gave a call for making 'Mission 272+' a success.
Ridiculing the BJP over it, Ahmed said in another tweet "Even die-hard supporters of the BJP are laughing their heads off over party's claim that it will get 272 seats in the Lok Sabha elections."
According to BJP sources, in his address to party state unit presidents and election campaign committee members, Modi had claimed that he had got the support of 25 per cent Muslims in his state and the party should try to reach out to the minorities across the country.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi had laughed off the claim, saying, "This is false and baseless statement. Only two Muslim voters in the whole country may cast their votes in Narendra Modi's favour. One belongs to Bihar (Shahnawaz Hussain) and another to Allahabad (Mukhtar Naqvi)."