Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said that opposition leaders were looking for an excuse to justify their impending defeat in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls by raking up the Ramzan controversy.
"The opposition leaders are making excuses because they know they are going to lose the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. He who does not know how to dance, complains that the stage is uneven," he said while talking to ANI here on Monday.
"Why are they bothered? They should not divert the people's attention unnecessarily," he said.
Vishwash Sarang, another BJP leader, too lauded the Election Commission of India (ECI) for not being "narrow-minded" and requested the opposition parties to not "play the politics of separation during the election months."
"The opposition leaders have accepted that they are going to lose the election. That is why they are adopting such tactics," said Sarang.
The controversy erupted when Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim on Monday questioned the lengthy schedule of the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, saying that those observing Ramzan in Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh would be affected.
Former Union Minister and BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain also on Monday wondered if the people were voting for the first time during the month-long fast, which this year is likely to start from May 5 to conclude on June 4 accordingly.
"Are the people voting for the first time during Ramzan," asked Hussain.
ECI on Sunday announced seven-phased poll to the 17th Lok Sabha, beginning April 11 and ending on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23 to declare 543 members elected for the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Indian Parliament.
The phase five of Lok Sabha polling has been fixed for May 6, phase six May 12, and phase seven May 19, during which the polling will take place in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
Terming the whole controversy unfortunate, Hussain told ANI: "Our Hindu brothers fast on Monday. So, does that mean elections should not be held on Monday? Religious activities are extremely personal matters. People keep fast and go to work. And if they go to cast their votes, will Ramzan be stopped?"
It is likely to start in India around May 5 depending on the sighting of the moon and continue for a month.
The Election Commission had on Sunday announced the schedule for Lok Sabha elections. The dates for the seven phases are April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting of votes will be done on May 23.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)