India Congress leader hits at BJP's PM hopeful for hiding marriage
By Zahid Rafiq, Friday, April 11, 2014
KASHMIR - Indian National Congress party's deputy chairman Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the prime ministerial candidate of the right-wing Bharatiya Janta Party, Narendra Modi, for misleading elections authorities about his marital status in past elections.
“We don't know how many elections he (Modi) has contested. But, for the first time he has written that he is married," Gandhi said to the gathering.
"In Delhi, they (BJP leaders) talk about respecting women, but his (Modi) wife's name never found its way into the affidavit (to the election commission)."
Gandhi is considered to be Congress’s yet unnamed Prime Ministerial hopeful if they win the elections and form the Government, and the one man who most strongly stands in Congress’s way is Modi, who is accused of complicity as a Chief Minister in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat. The 63-year-old has been the state's CM for the last three terms.
The riots, believed to be triggered by a train fire that killed dozens of Hindu activists, had left over 1,000 people dead.
In the affidavit for his candidature from the city of Vadodara, Modi finally admitted that he has been married to a woman named Jashodaben Chimanlal, a retired schoolteacher.
During the previous four general assembly elections, Modi had left the column for spouse blank in the four assembly elections he contested in the past.
Gandhi took jibes at Modi and BJP in Doda in the Udhampur constituency where he was speaking. There has been a rise in popularity of Modi among the Hindu population in the Jammu division of the IHK.
Gandhi constantly criticized Modi on the issues of gender inequality and his behavior with women, esp his wife whom he said Modi had pushed into oblivion.
“The leader from Gujarat (Modi) did surveillance on a woman by misusing his chair and his police force,” he said. ”And now he is talking about women empowerment.”
India's hotly contested election is being fought in nine phases from April 7 to May 12 around the key issues of corruption, inflation, unemployment, anti-incumbency and secularism.
The results will be announced on May 16.
About 815 million registered voters are expected to cast their ballots, an increase of 100 million new voters compared with the 2009 election.
According to opinion polls, the BJP, which has been in opposition for the past two terms, is expected to form the next federal government after defeating Congress, which has been in power since 2004.
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