‘Need 90% of Muslim Votes’: Kamal Nath Video Sparks Political Row

The BJP has called the video of Congress leader Kamal Nath a proof of the party’s ‘communal politics’.

Madhya Pradesh Elections 2018
2 min read
Photo of Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath.

Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh elections, a video of Congress leader Kamal Nath purportedly shows him saying that his party will be doomed if Muslims don’t vote for the party en masse. The ruling BJP has alleged that the video is proof that Congress engages in communal politics.

The Quint could not verify the authenticity of the video, in which the MP Congress President is purportedly seen asking Muslim workers of his party to ensure "90 percent polling" in regions where the community’s population is high.

"Resolve today that you would ensure 80-90 percent polling in your booths." Nath is seen telling the party workers in the video.

“If we don’t get 90 percent votes of the Muslims, then we are doomed. You are talking about 80 (percent). I am talking about 90... You know where there are Muslim votes, how much voting took place there? If there was less than 60 percent voting, then why? It must have been a big reason.”
Kamal Nath, MP Congress President

BJP Hits Out at Congress

After the video was circulated, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of indulging in communal politics.

"The “fancy dress Hindus” are exposed yet again.. Kamalnath ji promises the Muslim clerics that the Congress will surely deal with the Hindus after the election... for now the Muslims should stand with the Congress", Patra wrote on Twitter.

Even the BJP's National Head of Information & Technology cell, Amit Malviya, shared the video on Twitter and called it the "communal truth of the Congress' politics.”

In another tweet by Madhya Pradesh BJP President, Rakesh Singh, referred to the incident as communal, adding that the Election Commission should take strict actions against Nath.

What’s Wrong With the Video, Asks Congress

Speaking to NDTV, Congress Spokesperson Shobha Oza responded to BJP’s allegations and said:

“It seems the BJP has just lost the plot. What’s wrong in the video? He (Kamal Nath) is just appealing for votes. They don’t want to answer the questions that people are asking. Different communities are meeting him, he is just telling them to vote. They are just showing some edited portions without any context.”

As the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP tackles anti-incumbency, the Congress is hoping to come to power in Madhya Pradesh.

Elections for the 230-seat Assembly will be held on 28 November.

BJP Approaches EC Against Kamal Nath, Demands Action

Hours after Nath’s video went viral, a BJP delegation comprising Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, party MPs SS Ahluwalia, Meenakshi Lekhi and Anil Baluni submitted a complaint to the Election Commission, demanding it to act against Nath for allegedly inciting religious sentiments by appealing to a particular community.

In its complaint, the BJP alleged:

“Nath in an address to a gathering appealed exclusively to Muslim voters to mobilise 90 percent votes for the Congress in Muslim booths. It is tragic that Nath chose to even divide the booths along religious lines.”

"Nath is clearly appealing to voters on the basis of religious denomination, which agitates against the spirit of free and fair elections," it added.

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