• Saturday, May 18, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

All hell breaks loose after India opposition leader threatens to jail Modi if they come to power

Misa Bharti, an MP and daughter of veteran opposition leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, attacked the Indian PM over the electoral bonds issue and threatened jail him if they won the 2024 elections.

Misa Bharti, a leader of India’s opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal who threatened to jail PM Narendra Modi (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN politics witnessed a major controversy erupting this week over an opposition leader’s remarks targeting prime minister Narendra Modi and some other leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Hindu nationalist party on Thursday (11) hit back at Misa Bharti, a leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of former Indian federal minister Lalu Prasad and also his daughter, after she threatened to put some of its leaders, including Modi, behind bars over alleged corruption if the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDA) came to power in New Delhi after this year’s general elections beginning next week.

The BJP said the people of the country will give the opposition parties a befitting reply in the upcoming elections for making such remarks.

A few days ago, Bharti, an member of the Rajya Sabha or Upper House of the Indian parliament who is contesting this year’s election from Pataliputra in the eastern state of Bihar, raked up the contentious issue of electoral bonds during an interaction with reporters in state capital Patna and said BJP leaders in the state as well as PM Modi will be jailed for raising funds through the bonds scheme by misusing central agencies.

Read: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Electoral bonds row, Kejriwal arrest may not help Modi opposition in 2024 elections’ 

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by Saeed Khan-Pool/Getty Images)

BJP national president J P Nadda said those facing a probe for alleged corruption and out on bail are “abusing” Modi, who has an unblemished political career.

Read: EXCLUSIVE: We want to make a transparent system, says Jagdeep Chhokar of watchdog ADR on India’s electoral bonds

“They are hurling various kinds of abuses on Modi. In the last 23 years, Modiji served as the Gujarat chief minister for more than 12 years and as the prime minister for 10 years. Modiji has worked as the country’s chief administrator and there is no blemish on him. Misa Bharti is saying she will send such a person to jail,” Nadda told a poll rally in the Anadaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday.

BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde, who is also the party’s in-charge for Bihar, said Bharti’s remarks show the low the opposition is hitting in its fight against the saffron party.

“They are making every effort to stop us from reaching the target of 400 seats, but their attempts are only giving us a boost,” he said.

He also cited an opposition leader’s alleged reference to Modi’s death to blast the opposition. Addressing a rally, the Indian National Congress’s leader from the central state of Chhattisgarh, Kawasi Lakhma, had reportedly said he will emerge victorious in the Lok Sabha polls and Modi will die.

Slamming Bharti for her remarks, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said Lalu Prasad had named her Misa so that he would remember his resolve throughout his life to “demolish” the Congress as the Indira Gandhi government had put him and other socialist leaders in jail under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency of 1975-77.

“Has Misa forgotten her father’s resolve or is she making fun of it?” Trivedi asked and said the RJD leader should change her name.

Devendra Fadnavis, deputy chief minister of the western state of Maharashtra, said Misa Bharti should first think of her family.

“Her family is stuck in so many types of scams and corruption. And these charges were not brought by us. The court punished them and so such statements are only mockery of democracy,” he said, according to Hindustan Times.

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala said Bharti must remember that her father was neither jailed nor convicted when his party was in power.

“Does Misa Bharti blame the UPA for her father’s arrest,” Shehzad said.

UPA stands for the now-defunct United Progressive Alliance that the Indian National Congress had led before the formation of the INDI Alliance.

Bharti had commented over allegations of appeasement against the Congress’s election manifesto. “He (Modi) accuses our family of corruption. But do you know how big corruption is involved in electoral bonds? Who will reply to that? If the public gives us an opportunity, PM Modi will be in jail along with the BJP leaders,” she said.

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