THE LOK Sabha elections 2014 are different from all previous elections. This is mainly due to the fact that the BJP, the principal opposition Party in the existing Parliament, has nominated Mr. Narendra Modi as its PM candidate, a person who has the blotch of the 2002 Gujarat riots on him as he was CM then and when over 2000 Muslims were killed.
Whatever the Courts may say on technical, legal grounds, the perception remains among a considerable section of Indians and especially among Muslims, that Mr. Modi not only failed to stop the massacre of Muslims, rather he connived in it. Thus, his nomination as PM candidate filled the Muslim community with fear and apprehension and created a divide not experienced even in the elections after the Babri Masjid demolition. His speeches in the previous Assembly elections in Gujarat and during these elections have only given strength to that perception. Adding fuel to the fire are the statements of his close aides, Mr. Amit Shah, who exhorted voters in Muzaffarnagar, scene of recent communal riots, to cast their votes as ‘revenge’, and Mr. Giriraj Singh, saying that those who don’t vote for Modi will be sent to Pakistan; the statements of his opponents, like Mr. Abu Azmi, saying that Muslims who do not vote for the Samajwadi Party against Modi are not true Muslims and their DNA should be tested, have only complemented the aforementioned statements.