BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi today said if voted to power his government would ensure that all criminal cases against members of Parliament were "disposed off within a year".
"...Whatever may happen, I have decided that all criminal cases against elected MPs be disposed off within a year. Maximum what may happen is by-elections, but it will ensure entry of good candidates. This is why people are saying 'acche din aane wale hain' (better days are to come)," Modi said at an election rally here.
Claiming that in the latest phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh a lot of irregularities was committed by 'baap-beta' (father-son duo of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav), Modi alleged that the Election Commission was sitting "idle".
"If EC considers that only holding elections in UP is its achievement then it's wrong," he said, adding "EC cannot withdraw from its responsibility. If free and fair polls are not held, it will be a blot on EC and democracy both."
Attacking his political opponents, Modi said, "They are saying Modi is like this. Modi is like that. But they don't tell people, what they have done for the people in past years. They don't given an account of their work."
"Nowadays Sonia Gandhi (Congress president) is also saying that Modi is acting like a Prime Minister. I just want to say 'unke muh me ghee, shakkar' (a saying which wishes that someone's statement comes true)," he said.
Modi said that those who are born and brought up in palaces are insulting poor.
Later addressing a rally in Allahabad, Modi today charged the Election Commission with having "ignored" his warnings about the possibility of rigging in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, and claimed large-scale electoral malpractices have marred polling in these states.
"I want to say this to the Election Commission while speaking from a public platform. Your credibility lies in conducting free and fair elections even in states like West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which have a long history of poll rigging. You ignored my warnings in this regard and as a result these states have witnessed rigging on a large scale," Modi said.
"You still have an opportunity to redeem your credibility. Two more phases of voting are to take place shortly and the forces which believe in electoral malpractices would be back to their old ways. You have the authority to deploy central forces in the required strength wherever you deem proper. You must now ensure that on May 7 and May 12, voters of these states are not intimidated and prevented from exercising their rights," he added.
On the FIR against him for speaking to journalists after casting his vote in Gujarat, he said, "I have spoken in the interests of the voters. If the Election Commission thinks I am guilty of wrongdoing on this account, it may act against me. After this rally I would be returning to Gandhinagar where I would be delivering a speech which would be relayed across the country via 3D hologram technology. If the EC thinks it needs to act against me, I am available there."
Earlier, Modi also reiterated his promise of cleansing politics of people with criminal backgrounds and said that if voted to power he would "submit before the Supreme Court the affidavits of all MPs in whose affidavits there is admission of criminal cases".
"I would request the apex court to grant permission for speedy trials of these tainted MPs on the basis of their own affidavits... After Parliament is purged of criminals, the same procedure will repeated in state assemblies," Modi said to a thunderous round of applause.
Modi also took potshots at the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the Samajwadi Party regime in Uttar Pradesh saying the country suffered due to "maa-bete ki sarkar" while the state was stagnating under "baap-bete ki sarkaar".
He blamed the successive BSP and SP governments in the state for dismal power situation which, he said, had stalled industrialisation and forced youths to migrate in large numbers to other parts of the country in search of livelihood.
Lamenting the decline of educational institutions like Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, who himself is contesting from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, said, "We will bring back the glory of these institutions."