BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday (July 15) appeared to differ with Narendra Modi on the secular-communal divide saying such a discourse would deviate from real issues of economic downturn and corruption for which Congress should be held accountable. However, he was at pains to explain that he was not offering any advise to the Gujarat Chief Minister on how he should conduct the campaign. Sinha's remarks come a day after Modi accused the Congress of hiding behind a 'burqa' of secularism to escape from its failures, remarks that have touched off a raging controversy with Congress and other parties attacking the Chief Minister.
Sinha said the focus of the debate in the run up to the elections should be on the bad economic situation and other problems confronting the common man for which the Congress government "is responsible" and not on "spurious" communalism versus secularism debate. "We should bring the debate back to current issues which are basically economic issues. The issue of poverty, the issue of bread and the issue of unemployment. These are the issues which are hurting people. It is not communalism or secularism. These are the issues. So we should bring the debate back to these issues," Sinha told reporters.
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Jayanthi Natarajan, MoS, Environment and Forests; Piyush Goyal, National Treasurer & MP Rajya Sabha, BJP; Pavan Verma, Advisor to CM, Bihar; Bharat Kumar Raut, MP, Rajya Sabha, Shiv Sena and Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor, Open Magazine -- discuss whether, the debate on governance take precedence over the debate on secularism?