New Delhi: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday waded into controversy when he advised voters eligible in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha election to cast their franchise after much thought or their children could end up becoming a tea-seller, pakoda-seller or a watchman. Also Read - Suvendu Adhikari to File Nomination Papers From Nandigram Assembly Seat on March 12, Will Face Mamata Banerjee
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“Ek galat vote aapke baccho ko chaiwala, pakodawala ya chowkidar bana sakta hai. Better prevent and prepare, rather than repent and repair...” (One wrong vote can make your child a tea-seller, pakoda-seller or a watchman) Also Read - FACT CHECK: Political Parties Use Sourav Ganguly's Morphed Image for Social Media Campaigns
Sidhu’s remarks were a string of stinging jibes at the Prime Minister and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
His ‘chaiwala‘ comment was an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who briefly worked as a tea-seller in his youth, then to one of his speeches at a rally- wherein he said selling pakodas on street was a profession and the last ‘chowkidar‘ was a direct attack at the BJP campaign.
Soon after, the BJP rained criticism on him for not only insulting the Prime Minister but also putting on display their utter disdain for people with humble professions. “This is an insult to the Prime Minister and an insult of the people of India… This has become a habit of the Congress. the people of India take inspiration from the background that PM Modi comes from. Many people earn their livelihood from such profession and live a life of dignity- both of which the Congress made fun of today…” said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao at a press brief.
Notably, the Election Commission had recently barred Navjot Singh Sidhu from campaigning for three days after it found him guilty of violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) with his allegedly communal remarks. In its order, the Commission cited comments of Sidhu making use of religion while appealing voters to support Congress candidate from Katihar Tariq Anwar on April 15.
It said the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar has forwarded it a video clip showing Sidhu asking voters from the “minority community” to prevent any split of their votes.
With IANS inputs