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Panelists feel that leaders should be careful about what they say as poll fever catches on

Hardik Patel, Patidar quota agitation leader from Gujarat, will join the Congress during the party’s CWC meeting in Ahmedabad where party chief Rahul Gandhi and party leader Priyanka Gandhi will also be present. On the other hand, the BJP has attacked the Congress chief of “loving” terrorists” after Gandhi was heard referring to Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as “ji”. APN’s popular debateMudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Vandna posed the questions to panellists including the Congress’s Anju Artre, BJP’s B Ramaswamy, NCP’s Mahesh Chakran, noted scribe Sunil Kaushik, national expert Mantosh Sharma, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Atre said: “People’s promises have remain unfulfilled, and they will give fitting reply in the coming elections.”

Kaushik said: “Political status before elections to suit their interest. Sometimes business considerations are also there.”

Sharma said: “The CWC is national body. The development of Patel joining the Congress is symbolic because it’s happening in the Narender Modi’s home state.”

Chakran said: “Patidar might look for gains in the Congress, OBC tickets and so on. BJP is also employing all tactics to get infuential leaders on its side.”

Raju said: “Hardik Patel represents Patidhars. But some patidhars have differences with Hardik. The Congress will have to do more to grab votes. It’s a big challenge for the Congress.”

Kaushik said: “Some Congress leaders’ statements have helped the BJP. This might have a national impact. “

Atre said:” Gujarat industry is in bad shape today, BJP has failed to deliver on its promises.”

Ramaswamy said: “Hardik joining the Congress is a small issue. Let’s think of entire India not just Gujarat. Besides, the Gujarat model is a successful one, and BJP is behind this success.”

Atre said: “Why has the Bjp not lived up to its promises? Unemployment is high, the youth are unhappy, farmers are committing suicide. Gadkari is saying no jobs so how will reservation help?”

Ramaswamy said: “We have data that SC/STs have got jobs. The Congress representative is talking in air.”

Vandna then shifted the debate to Rahul Gandhi referring to Masood Azhar as ji.

Atre said: “Rahul was saying that Azhar was released by the BJP in the past. What BJP does is mooh par Ram, bagal mein churi (talk sweetly, but then twist the knife). Congress nationalism cannot be questioned.”

Ramaswamy said: It’s shameful that Rahul Gandhi should have referred to the terrorist as ji. The youth of this country will give a fitting reply.”

Chakran said: “It could be a slip of the tongue. Rahul Gandhi is not so immature that he will refer to a terrorist as ji. What’s more important is to see what the government is doing to tackle terrorism.”

Sharma said: “This is a mudda for Twitter. People will show through their votes.”

Sunil Kaushik said: “Since it’s poll eve, Rahul’s remarks will have an impact. People in our country respond emotionally, that is why Indira Gandhi had preponed the polls, because emotive issues matter here.”

Raju said: “I agree terrorists should not be treated with respect. But this is not the first time for the Congress to have made such slips. Digvijay has also done in the past.”

Atre said: “Rahul was the first to say there will be no politics on Pulwama. But Modi next day was at an election rally asking people for votes. Who has politicised the issue?”

Ramaswamy said: “There are immature leaders in the Congress. Can you compare our leadership and patriotism? Look who is calling terrorist ji, national feeling is given short shrift by the Congress. BJP will fight on development, education sector, infrastructure and so on.’
Atre said: “You are talking as if before BJP came to power, nothing existed, there was no IIT, no development. The model BJP has been working on has been created by the Congress.”

Sharma said: “In the last four years, image of Rahul has been created. This is another slip of the tongue.”

Atre said: “The 56 inch-types should get Masood Azhar, the main issue will be development in these elections.”

Kaushik said: “This slip of the tongue is not a small thing and will impact polls. On one side is Abhinandan and on the side remarks like these. BJP is sure to make this a poll issue. Congress has created this dish for BJP to savour.”

Compiled by-Niti Singh Bhandari


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