Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 8 dubbed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati's appeal to Muslims to vote for her party and partner Samajwadi Party (SP) as a "desperate attempt to save a sinking ship" and called their alliance a “fight for survival”.
In an exclusive interview with News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, PM Modi said Mayawati’s desperation was understandable from her outreach to Muslim electorate, but the silence of secular people has exposed their "selective outrage".
PM Modi said: “It is unsurprising that Mayawati is making such statements as she is facing defeat. She is appealing to Muslims to specifically vote for her. This is a matter for the Election Commission to look into. I am less worried about Mayawati. She is part of a sinking ship and is looking to Muslims for support.”
On April 7, the BSP supremo had appealed to Muslims to vote for the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the Lok Sabha election and not allow the Congress to split their votes. After this, the Election Commission (EC) had sought a report from Saharanpur District Magistrate on the contents of her speech. The following day, the poll authorities in Uttar Pradesh sent a factual report to the EC.
The prime minister raised question about the silence of the “secular brigade” on Mayawati’s comment. “I am more worried about the secular brigade. Why are they silent? Had someone made such an appeal to Hindus, they would have expressed outrage. The 'award wapsi' gang would have returned their awards and a signature campaign would have started. Why is this group silent?” PM Modi said.
“This is a worrying subject for the nation. I request you to expose such elements. Why are they selective? Don't these remarks hurt their secularism? Did this statement boost their secularism? The biggest threat to India are these people who hide behind the mask of secularism,” he added.
Talking about the SP-BSP alliance, he said: “Those who were enemies and were willing to harm each other. When such parties unite, it means they are fighting for survival. They are looking for a lifeline, but I don't think they will succeed.”(The full interview will be aired today at 7.00 pm and 10.00 pm on CNN-News18, News18 India, CNBC TV18 and other News18 regional channels.)