Updated May 1st, 2024 at 22:58 IST

How INDI Bloc Is Attempting to Reduce 2024 Lok Sabha Elections to ‘Vote Jihad'

Maria Alam made an appeal for "vote jihad" while terming it as “necessary” step to “drive away” the BJP government.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Akhilesh Yadav backed the 'vote Jihad' call given by Maria Alam, as he jumped to her defence by issuing rather bizarre remarks such as “her intention was to ask people to vote in large numbers”. | Image:Republic Digital
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New Delhi: With the battle for the Lok Sabha heating up as the election enters the third phase of polling on May 7 when voters in 95 constituencies across 13 states and Union Territories will cast their ballot to elect a Member of Parliament from their respective constituencies, the opposition-led INDI Bloc appears to be leaving no-stone-unturned in its attempt to undermine democracy and the country's electoral process by seeking to reduce the ongoing parliamentary elections to an issue of ‘Vote Jihad’. 

As there seems to be no end in sight to the Opposition's fear-mongering, leaders of the bloc's constituents have now resorted to making calls for ‘Vote Jihad’, with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav backing the 'vote Jihad' call given by his party leader Maria Alam, and jumping to her defence by issuing rather bizarre remarks such as “her intention was to ask people to vote in large numbers”, and that "powerful words are sometimes used to enthuse people to vote in elections". 

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For the uninitiated, Congress leader Salman Khurshid's niece Maria Alam, while seeking votes for INDI bloc candidate Naval Kishore Shakya from Farrukhabad seat, had on Monday made an appeal for "vote jihad", while terming it as “necessary for the minorities” to “drive away” the BJP government.

In a bid to tone down Alam's controversial remarks a visible defiance of the state administration's action, the SP leader had said, “The meaning of it (Alam's call), I think, was not for which action has been initiated”, while trying to assuage his party leader's actual stance on the matter, saying, "The intention was that votes polled in maximum numbers, that all people cast their votes".  

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Notably, Alam was yesterday booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police over her “vote jihad” call.

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In a video of Alam's speech from Kaimganj that has been doing rounds on social media, the SP leader can be heard uttering divisive remarks that are only seemingly detrimental to democracy. “Together, do vote jihad – with intelligence, without being sentimental and with silence. As we can only [indulge in] vote jihad to drive away this Sanghi government”, part of Alam's speech shows her saying while addressing the crowd.

Resorting to fear-mongering again, Alam further told the gathering that it was time to join hands, “otherwise this Sanghi government will succeed in wiping out our existence”.

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A case was registered against Alam for violating the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Representation of People Act following a complaint by the Flying Squad and Surveillance Team, news agency PTI reported, quoting the police. A case was also filed against Khurshid, who was the chief guest at the election meeting in Kaimganj.

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The case was registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC and section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of People Act, police had reportedly said.

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Published May 1st, 2024 at 21:11 IST