A controversy erupted on Monday after a 7-year-old child was seen in a video beside Prime Minister Narendra Modi, praising the BJP, ahead of next month’s Gujarat assembly elections. The video was shared by the saffron camp on its Twitter account and showed the young girl narrating a poem in Gujarati, saying, “BJP will save us, BJP will come again”.
With her hair down, the girl could be seen with a BJP sash around her shoulder. The prime minister was seen smiling throughout the 57-second video as the youngster rained down praises on his party.
“BJP, BJP, BJP, wherever you see, you will find BJP. Every discussion starts and ends with BJP. People are playing various games to defeat BJP,” she said in the video.
The girl further stated that no one can defeat the ruling party in Gujarat that functions on the “principle of development”. “Who made curfew the thing of the past? Who removed Article 370? Who took Narmada to Nar (man)? Who fulfilled the wait of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya?” she said.
In the end of the video, the youngster heaped praises on his party and Modi was seen applauding her with a “shabaash (kudos)”.
This drew massive criticism from the Congress, which accused Modi of using a child for the poll campaign. The party also asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to take cognisance of the matter.
Taking to Twitter, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh asked: “A small child is being used by the prime minister for election campaign. This is a clear violation of the law. Where is the Election Commission? Where is the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)?”
Congress spokesperson and social media in-charge Supriya Shrinate also shared the video and claimed that this was a clear violation of the law.
The BJP had earlier accused Congress and Rahul Gandhi of using children for his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and had complained to the NCPCR.
Meanwhile, Modi has been on a campaign blitz since Saturday (November 19), and addressed public rallies in multiple places.
Earlier in the day, during a rally, Modi sharpened his attack on the Congress, saying its Bharat Jodo Yatra is not a march but one for power. He also accused the grand old party of calling him names and walking with an “anti-Narmada activist)”- in reference to Medha Palkar, without taking any names.
“I have no aukat. Let’s discuss the issue of development and make Gujarat develop. Come to the field. Let this be a face off,” he said during a public address in the Dudhrej area of Gujarat’s Surendranagar.
The Gujarat assembly elections are slated for December 1 and 5, and the results will be released on December 8. The BJP is looking to continue its winning streak, while the Congress is aiming for a comeback in the state that has been ruled by the saffron party since 1995.