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‘Fundamental Right to free speech biggest casualty of Congress’ arrogance’: Modi on opinion polls

New Delhi, Nov.4 (ANI): Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Monday said that the biggest casualty of Congress Party’s arrogance, while in power, has been the Fundamental Right to free speech.

“Those who have followed Indian politics, and the workings of the Congress Party after Independence, would agree that the stand of the Congress Party does not come as a surprise. The biggest casualty of the Congress Party’s arrogance while in power, and its tendency to trample over Institutions, has been our Fundamental Right to Free Speech,” Modi wrote in his blog titled ‘Today Opinion Polls, what next?’

He further said that the UPA Government has shown their intolerance towards social media criticism, when Government suspended Twitter handles.

“On that occasion I had blackened my Twitter display picture as a mark of solidarity with all those in Social Media who were speaking up for free speech and expression. Some months back, a Restaurant in Mumbai was threatened for expressing its opinion against the UPA’s policies in a creative manner on a Sales Receipt,” he said.

He also said that opinion polls in India have had mixed records of getting their predictions right and wrong, and added that it is up to the political parties to determine what to do with the findings of an opinion poll.

“As for opinion polls, it is not that I have any particular affinity for them. In fact, I am quite aware of their limitations. Our enlightened pollsters made assertions about how Gujarat will vote against the BJP in 2002, then again in 2007 and even in 2012 with such great confidence only to be proven incorrect by the people,” he said.

“However there is an important principle and ethics here that holds true for every Party and Government. A government that is in denial over where the public opinion really stands, is doomed to be thrown out of power,” he added.

Modi further wrote that it is utterly puerile to resort to extreme steps only because opinion polls do not notify what the political party wants to hear.

“If the poll is favourable, we are free to become complacent or we can continue our work on the ground without becoming over confident. But if they are not favourable to us, we are free to reject the numbers and remain in denial or we can choose to take corrective action where it merits,” he added.

He also wrote that his concern is not limited to this proposal to ban opinion polls, and added that the Congress might resort to even ban the Election Commission, if they lose an election.

“Tomorrow, the Congress may seek a ban on articles, editorials and blogs during election time on the very same grounds. If they lose an election, they may then seek a ban on the Election Commission, and if the Courts do not support them, then they may say why not ban the courts! After all this a Party that resorted to imposing the Emergency in response to an inconvenient Court Verdict,” he said.

Describing people as the best judge, Modi said that it is better to reject the Congress not only in opinion polls, but also in the upcoming elections.

“If you ask me, the solution is much simpler. Rather than cope with these authoritarian and subversion tactics of the Congress, it is better we reject the anti-democratic Congress, not merely in an opinion poll but in the Polling Booth where it matters the most,” he added. (ANI)

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