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Never asked for votes in the name of Islam, says Ghulam Nabi Azad; Rubbishes BJP's allegations

By Vikas

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday (May 3) rubbished BJP's allegation that he asked for votes in the name of Islam in Karnataka and said he would resign as Parliament member if the charges are proven right.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had alleged Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge in their campaign in a Muslim locality in Karnataka sought the community's votes for their party in the name of Islam.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad

"I didn't hold any public meeting especially for Muslims, it was just a public meeting. I challenge, if anyone meeting EC officials has video or audio of mine saying 'vote in name of Islam', then I will resign as Parliament member and leader of opposition," news agency ANI quoted Azad as saying.

Another Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the Congress leaders told Muslims that their votes for the party will be in the service of Islam, which is in "danger", as he asserted that such rank communalism is a crime under the The Representation of People Act. Prasad said the Congress is desperate as it is set to lose the polls and that is why its government in the state and its leaders are resorting to various tactics to weaken the BJP's campaign.

Besides action against the Congress leaders, the BJP has demanded that a few deputy commissioners and some other state officials be removed, he said.

The BJP delegation, which also included Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Dharmendra Pradhan besides senior party leader Arun Singh, also alleged that the Congress is full of moneybags in the state and they were distributing money.

Karnataka is set to vote on May 12. The voting across 224 constituencies would be held in one phase and results would be declared on May 15.

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