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Misusing Religion for Electoral Gain 

May 7, 2006 


Ms. Parveen Abdi, Vice Chairperson of Rachnatmak Karyakarta cell of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) and daughter of late M.N.Abdi, a veteran freedom fighter and a close associate of late Feeroz Gandhi has taken strong exception to the utterances of former Union Minister and Senior Samajwadi Party leader Beni Prasad Verma in Rae Bareilly yesterday where Beni Verma sought to question the patriotism of Smt Sonia Gandhi on the basis of her personal faith. Parveen Abdi has urged the Election Commission to take cognizance of Beni Verma’s unbecoming public address in an election meeting in Rae Barielly and disqualify the SP candidate from the bi-election as in his presence Beni Verma described Christians as non-nationalist by virtue of their faith and appealed for votes for Samawadi party candidate on communal basis. Samajwadi Party and its candidate has surely violated the model code of conduct as he and his party has chosen to create hatred and ill will between communities on the basis of their religious belief and faith and sought to raise communal passion by describing Christians and Muslims as arch enemies she added. Beni Verma tried to project a clash between religious faith and patriotism. Parvenu Abdi said further that though Ms. Sonia Gandhi doesn't require to prove her faith to the mean and small minded people the ilk of Beni Verma but truly living upto her family traditions like the past this time too Mrs. Sonia Gandhi performed the Puja before filing her nomination papers. However, being a Christian is not a crime, let alone anti national. Christianity is as much an Indian faith as Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Budhism etc. Parveen Abdi has urged the election commission to treat Beni Verma the same way Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thakrey was booked under similar circumstances during Maharashtra elections and he was ultimately disenfranchised for six years. The election commission should lodge FIR against Beni Verma and all those present in that meeting, including SP candidate and UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav for violating the code of election conduct.

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