If you are not voting for the BJP, vote for the Congress, but certainly not the Aam Aadmi Party, the Punjab BJP chief had said at a poll campaign rally. Today, Ashwani Sharma blamed it on a "twisted" interpretaion of his comments as the undated video surfaced on social media, a day before Punjab votes.
"A vote for AAP means a vote for terrorism. A vote to break Punjab. Any person who votes for AAP will be betraying the country and Punjab. If you don't want to vote for us (BJP), vote for Congress. But don't vote for somebody who betrays the country," said Ashwani Sharma.
The BJP leader has now played down those remarks and gone on the offensive against the rival parties (Congress and AAP), calling them "dangerous".
"To spread falsehoods is an old tactic of the Congress. A statement of mine has been twisted and taken out of context to fool people of the state. Both Congress and AAP cannot do any good for Punjab and both the parties are dangerous for Punjab...Press the lotus button for the BJP so that the state remains safe and there is development," he said in his clarification video.
The incumbent Congress government faces competition from the Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party. The BJP is fighting the polls in alliance with Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (Samyukta). Samyukta Samaj Morcha, an political front of various farmer bodies, is also contesting the polls.
The votes will be counted on March 10, along with four other states.