A video purportedly showing Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath asking Muslim leaders to ensure as much as 90 per cent voting for his party from Muslim-dominated areas has gone viral ahead of the November 28 assembly election in the state.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has launched an attack against the main opposition party over the issue, saying it only cared for Muslim appeasement.
The Congress, on the other hand, dubbed it a conspiracy by the saffron party to divide voters on communal lines.
In the video, Nath is purportedly heard saying that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP have only one message for the voters -- a vote for Narendra Modi means a vote for Hindus -- and “agar Musalman ko vote deni hai, to Congress ko vote do (vote for the Congress if you want to vote for Muslims).”
“This is their politics....We will deal with them later... They will try to provoke you, but you will have to bear everything till the day of voting,” the Congress leader purportedly says in the video.
“I request you to check the previous voting figures. Those are on the Internet... where there are (areas with) Muslim votes, how much voting took place. If it was 50-60 per cent, then why 60 per cent, why not 90 per cent. A post-mortem of this is very necessary,” he says.
“If the Muslim community does not record a 90-per cent voting, we will suffer a heavy blow,” Nath further says in the video.
Muslim leaders would know how much polling took place in the booths where there were “Muslim votes”, and if it was 60 per cent, what was the reason for that, he is heard saying.
Commenting on the video, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “It exposes the ‘chaal’ (conduct), ‘charitra’ (character) and ‘chehra’ (face) of the Congress. (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi had earlier said the Congress was a party of Muslims. Kamal Nath is stating that we must get 90 per cent Muslim votes and this is nothing but polarising politics.”
“They are designating booths as Muslim and Hindu.... The Congress only stands for Muslim appeasement and is not bothered about the other communities,” he added.
State BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said the ruling party had filed a complaint with the Election Commission as the video was an attempt to polarise voters.
State Congress leader and the party’s in-charge for EC affairs, J P Dhanopia, said, “The BJP had made a complaint to the EC about a month ago about the same video. Now they are circulating its second part as part of a conspiracy to polarise the voters on communal lines.”