Embarrassed by hate speeches from the saffron camp, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday disapproved of “petty” statements by those claiming to be BJP’s well-wishers saying they are deviating the campaign.
“Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP’s well— wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development and good governance.
“I disapprove (of) any such irresponsible statements and appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so,” Mr. Modi said in a series of tweets as controversial statements by VHP leader Pravin Togadia and Bihar BJP leader Giriraj Singh were denounced by rivals and allies of BJP.
“With great happiness, the entire nation is looking toward BJP for going to people solely on the issue of good governance and development,” Mr. Modi said in one of his tweets.
Mr. Modi, however, did not take any name but it was clear he was obviously referring to Togadia and Giriraj Singh, who had made hate speeches in the last three days.
Mr. Togadia, who is not on best of relations with Mr. Modi, created a storm when he had asked his supporters to >forcibly vacate a house purchased by a Muslim i n a Hindu-majority area of Bhavnagar.
Giriraj Singh, a former minister and a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, had said tha >t those opposing Modi had no place in India but should go to Pakistan .
Following a storm over his remarks, Togadia has denied giving any advise which was “socially or legally wrong” and threatened to take legal action against media houses.
Despite, the party president Rajnath Singh pulling him up, Giriraj Singh has said he stood by his comments.
Exercise restraint: Jaitley
In Amritsar, BJP leader Arun Jaitley appealed to party well wishers to exercise “utmost restraint” while making statements.
“Every sensible well-wisher of the BJP is expected to exercise utmost restraint and concentrate on issue of governance, which is the theme of our campaign. Any statement to the contrary will only help our rivals,” he said.
Mr. Jaitley, who is pitted against Congress candidate Amarinder Singh in Amritsar, said, “People expect us to govern and deliver. Today, the flood lights are on us. We will now be increasingly put under public scrutiny. Even an isolated irresponsible statement will bring discredit to us.”
Focusing on the issue of governance during the campaign, Mr. Jaitley wrote in his blog, “The momentum is with us. There is clarity in the campaign. We have fought this election on issues of governance. We must carry every section of society with us.”