Congress, BJP spar over heckling of chief ministers at Modi’s programmes
NEW DELHI: The Congress and the BJP sparred over
heckling faced by chief ministers at official functions addressed by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress termed the heckling ‘orchestrated’ while
the Bharatiya Janata Party described the sloganeering as a reflection of
unpopularity of incumbent governments.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the chief ministers
faced sloganeering as they were “non-performing. They did not perform in their
states. That’s why their own public, the public which elected them, elevated
them as chief minister, today is really annoyed with them. That’s why they are
showing the door to the chief ministers,” Patra said.
Referring to an incident during a function in Kaithal
on Tuesday in which Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was jeered at,
Patra said it would be absurd to say that a sizeable section of the state’s
population had become BJP workers.
Upset at the jeering, Hooda said he will not attend
any function of the prime minister or union ministers if the Haryana BJP
leadership did not change its attitude.
In the presence of Modi, Hooda was continuously booed
throughout his brief speech at the public function for the foundation
stone-laying ceremony of a national highway connecting Haryana and Rajasthan.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had on
Wednesday said he would not attend the foundation stone laying of the Nagpur
metro rail project by Modi. Chavan said there was a possibility of ruckus by BJP
workers as it happened in Haryana.
Congress leaders said Chavan was heckled by BJP
activists at a function attended by Modi in Raigad. Both Haryana and Jammu and
Kashmir will go for assembly polls later this year.
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Congress should
accept that people voicing their protest reflected unpopularity of the chief
minister. He said it was wrong for the Congress to say that the prime minister
was responsible for any adverse reaction in a gathering attended by lakhs of
“The Congress should accept that somewhere it is a
reflection of the anger against the state government. The displeasure is the
main reason. We feel this should not happen but if does, Congress should take
stock,” Rudy said.
Congress leader Manish Tewari justified the reaction
of the party’s Chief Ministers. He said it was a case of gross impropriety “if
government functions are used for orchestrated politics. No chief minister, in
his right mind, would have possibly gone this route if evidence of orchestration
was not in front of us,” said Tewari.
He said it does not require rocket science to know
that crowds were planted and people motivated to create disruptions. “These are
tactics which are employed but to be employed by the prime minister, I think,
is a little low. Therefore, a self-respecting person backs off and says ‘I give
you the time’,” he said. Tewari said popularity and unpopularity of a Chief
Minister will be gauged in the elections.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren also faced some
awkward moments as BJP activists raised slogans hailing Modi while he was
speaking in the presence of the prime minister at a function.