Saharanpur: As western Uttar Pradesh gears up for voting in the first phase on April 11, the BJP has latched onto the Congress's manifesto promise to amend AFSPA and scrap sedition law to target opposition, especially in seats where the Congress has fielded a strong candidates.
The Congress in its manifesto, released earlier this week, promised to amend Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and repeal sedition law. The BJP has upped its ante against the Congress after it released the manifesto.
In an interaction with villagers in Saharanpur on Wednesday morning, BJP candidate Raghv Lakhanpal said, “It appears the Congress manifesto was printed in Pakistan. Such a manifesto cannot be printed by Indians."
"The Congress has said they will repeal sedition law. Shouldn't there be a law to punish those who raise slogans like ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Honge’,” Lakhanpal added.
The BJP is facing a triangular contest in Saharanpur from the BSP-SP joint candidate Haji Fazlur Rehman and Congress' Imran Masood.
Lakhanpal won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls defeating Masood by over 70,000 votes. The Congress on the other hand is attempting to focus on development issues in its manifesto.
"We talk about youth, they talk about Pakistan. We take up the issue of unemployment, the BJP will take up the Hindu-Muslim," Masood told News18.com.
In 2014 general elections, the BJP had won all the eight seats which are going to the polls in the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh. The region remains communally charged even years after the Muzaffarnagar riots.