Thursday, 13 February 2014


On a day when Parliament saw unprecedented forms of protests and the use of dangerous substances to disrupt the house, Congress and BJP leaders crossed swords on who was responsible for the washout of sessions. At Panchayat Aaj Tak, the biggest political conclave on General Elections 2014, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad clashed.

When Digvijaya Singh demanded action against those repeatedly disrupting Parliament, Ravishankar Prasad pointed out that it is the Congress MPs who are not allowing the house to run. The Congress leader said “Today if you ask the people, what happens in Parliament, they will say nothing happens. There’s a trust deficit.”
Prasad shot back, saying that is not the case. “I have been in politics since the JP movement, people know the power of the vote. People can remove the biggest of leaders if they want to. People expect politicians to deliver.”

Moving on to the topic of discussion, ‘Who will be crowned PM”, Prasad attacked the Congress for mocking Narendra Modi’s modest roots, saying it is a matter of pride for the BJP that someone whose father ran a tea stall is candidate for the topmost job in the country. Digvijaya questioned Modi’s development record pointing out that malnourishment in Gujarat is rising andmore than 30 of its officers are in jail on various counts.

Digvijaya Singh said the Congress doesn’t believe in personality-based elections but one based on ideology. He said Congress represents Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals, Nehru’s secularism, decentralization of power and the ideology of social economy.
He also said that BJP stood for strong nationalism, India’s security, concern for the poor and good governance.

While Prasad said face-to-face debates between candidates in race for PM’s post, Digvijaya Singh was less forthcoming but he said debates are important in a democracy.

Now it was Ravishankar Prasad’s turn to hit back at the Congress on secular versus communal politics. He reminded Digvijaya Singh that it was Rajiv Gandhi who bowed before communal elements in the Shah Bano case.

He also took a jibe at the congress leader, saying whenever Digvijaya Singh speaks on controversial issues, it results in more votes for the BJP. Prasad stressed that today’s youth can’t be misled on basis of the old communal-secular divide.  

The two leaders also clashed on UPA’s economic achievement. Digvijaya singh hailed Manmohan Singh’s record, stressing that he is a technocrat and not a career politician, and had single-handedly revitalized the economy in the 1990s.

Ravi Shankar Prasad compared Manmohan singh’s achievement vis-à-vis the Vajpayee Govt and said that while the NDA govt provided a healthy growth rate of 8.5%, the present day growth had decelerated to 4.5%.

One interesting aspect of the debate was when Ravi Shankar Prasad was asked about Kejriwal’s impact on Indian politics. The BJP leader attacked Kejriwal, saying there are many politicians who lead a simple life, but none of them flaunts simplicity like Kejriwal does.

Session 2 - Tera Vote Mera Note
Speakers - Rajeev Shukla, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain & Ashutosh, Spokesperson, AAP 


BJP’s Muslim face Shahnawaz Hussain  said the singular reason for projecting Narendra Modi as the party’sPM face is because the Congress fears the Gujarat CM the most.

The comment came from the BJP’s Muslim face Shahnawaz Hussain at Panchayat Aaj Tak, the biggest political conclave on General Elections 2014 when Congress’ Rajiv Shukla said “We are neither scared of Narendra Modi nor Ibrahim Lodhi.” The third participant in the discussion “Your Vote, My Note.” AAP’s Ashutosh was the third participant.

The theme of the discussion, naturally, led to a heated debate on corruption, with Rajiv Shukla saying that his party takes swift action on any allegation and that is the reason why the topic is debated in the media. He accused the BJP of remaining silent whenever any of its leader is accused of graft.

The BJP hit back questioning the zero loss theory put forward by Kapil Sibal in the 2G case. Hussain also said there was no action on the Shunglu commission report in the CWG scam.  He also attacked the party on discrediting the CAG report.

The AAP turned the attack on both the national parties. Ashutosh said both parties have their corrupt icons in Yeddyurappa and Virbhadra Singh. AAP pinpointed its attack on Modi, saying a convicted Minister is part of his cabinet, while a BJP MP is in jail for the murder of an RTI activist.

The Aam Aadmi Party defended Delhi’s LawMinister Somnath Bharti, saying no FIR has been lodged against him. However, Ashutosh did admit that there was a problem with Bharti’s attitude.

AAP offered a strange defence of the relief granted to its supporters over pending electricity dues, saying the party doesn’t do politics of caste and communalism.

AAP and Congress clashed on the support granted to the former in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha. Ashutosh mocked congress saying it wrote to the L-G in the dark of the night offering its support. Shukla retorted that there was no alliance between the parties and AAP will have to defend itself on questions of duplicity and performance.  

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