Lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar on Tuesday said he was disgusted by the controversy around holding elections during Ramzan.
The Trinamool Congress had claimed that the timing of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal would inconvenience people during Ramzan. “The central government has targeted West Bengal in order to ensure that minority community people can’t come out to vote in large numbers due to fasting in the Ramzan month,” Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said.
“I find this whole discussion about Ramzan and elections totally disgusting,” Akhtar said in a tweet on Tuesday. “This is the kind of distorted and convoluted version of secularism that to me is repulsive, revolting and intolerable. Election Commission should not consider it for a second.”
The poll body had on Sunday announced the dates for the Lok Sabha elections. The 2019 General Elections will be held in seven phases, starting April 11 and ending May 19. Results will be declared on May 23. Elections in West Bengal will be held in all seven phases.
Samajwadi Party Maharashtra President Abu Asim Azmi had backed Hakim’s assertion on Monday. “I am not blaming the Election Commission, but the secular votes will reduce and it will benefit the BJP,” he said.
However, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi had rubbished the claims. “We cook, work, clean & take care of our families while fasting,” he tweeted. “It’s an insult to Muslims to say that Ramzan will affect our voting.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s All India Minority Morcha Secretary Arshad Alam said it was unnecessary for political parties to drag Ramzan into elections. “It’s not written anywhere in Islam that one has to take rest in air-conditioned rooms while fasting during Ramzan,” he said.