EC should not adopt 'double standard': Advani

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New Delhi, Dec 8: Taking great exception to Congress President Sonia Gandhi demonising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a 'maut ka saudagar'(merchant of death) and describing it as a ''provocation of gravest kind'', Leader of Opposition L K Advani said on Friday that he was yet to hear if the Election Commission had issued any notice to her.

Talking to newspersons on the conclusion of Winter Session of Parliament, Mr Advani said Mrs Gandhi dubbing Mr Modi, who is a democratically elected chief minister, a merchant of death was not only an insult to people of Gujarat but also unprecedented even by the Congress' own sordid history of votebank politics.

The EC, having issued a notice to Mr Modi, cannot adopt a ''double standard'' on the matter, Mr Advani said.

''It is a personalised attack betraying a perverse mind as there have been no terrorist attack in the state for the last five years.

The Congress ruled states -- Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir -- have all seen gruesome killings of hundreds of innocent people,'' he added.

About the EC notice to Mr Modi, Mr Advani felt that the party would have to wait for the reply from the Gujarat CM.

Refraining to comment on the issue, Mr Advani said his information was that Mr Modi in the rally in south Gujarat had not referred to Sohrabuddin Sheikh's matter but his comments concerned terrorists in general.

Mr Advani clarified that he had not spoken to Mr Modi on the issue but to the party people present at the rally.

The BJP is confident that that people of Gujarat will give a fitting reply to a party led by those who justify their calculated silent on the anti-national crimes of the likes of Sohrabuddin and Mohammad Afzal.

''However, going beyond the confines of Gujarat elections, I sincerely appeal to Mrs Gandhi not to make such provocative statements. I am appealing in the national interest and in the interest of democracy,'' Mr Advani added.

When it was pointed out to him that many of BJP men, including Mr Modi's predecessor Keshubhai Patel, were calling the Gujarat CM a ''Hitler'', Mr Advani said it would usually mean that he is ''stubborn or dictatorial''.

''But I don't think Mr Patel even remotely means the term 'merchant of death' when he calls Mr Modi a Hitler,'' he remarked.


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