It is now clear that the battleground in Gujarat is no longer just about what happens on the 11th and 16th of December in the polling booths. There are now essentially two battles. The first battle involves the people and will in all likelihood be determined by how much the BJP rebels and the disenchanted special interest groups undercut the traditional Modi vote bank.

The second battle on the other hand is about rendering the people of Gujarat irrelevant.

So you have this troika of the usual suspects Congress, the mainstream media, radical left wing pressure groups coming together even before the people of Gujarat face the battle at the hustings.

The Congress as Offstumped had pointed is no longer focused on Gujarat but on its Muslim vote bank in the rest of the country. The radical left wing pressure groups are known Modi baiters with a stated agenda to haul him to court.

Offstumped based on extensive analysis over two posts has laid bare the surreptitious campaign by the mainstream media to target Modi with a relentless barrage over the last 45 days invoking communal issues.

If one believes that this troika is attempting to influence public opinion in Gujarat so the people make an informed choice come 11th or 16th one must be seriously deluded.

This is no longer about beating Modi at the hustings by influencing public opinion in Gujarat. This is about baiting Modi even before he can get to the hustings. Hence you have the Election Commission joining this troika unwittingly as a partisan player in this game of bait.

Look at the grounds on which the Election Commission has issued the notice of violation of the model code of conduct

the speech amounts to an open exhortation to violence and misuse of religion for political ends

the references to Late Shri Sohrabuddin and linking his name to terrorism, made in the speech, amounts to indulging in activity which may aggravate existing differences, creating mutual hatred and causing tension between different communities

It is funny that the one fundamental issue or concern that one could have with Mr. Modi’s speech – condoning an extra-judicial killing, finds no mention in the Election Commission’s Notice.

Consider the pervesity here.

The EC is not concerned if Mr. Modi condoned or did not condone the fake encounter, instead the EC wants to take offence to the speech only because Mr. Sohrabuddin is Muslim and Mr. Modi is Hindu.

This coming from an autonomous Constitutional Authority that has looked the other way when Congress President Sonia Gandhi calls Mr. Modi a “Merchant of Death” in the context of Muslim fears and Congress General Secretary Digvijay talks of “Hindu Terrorism” without any factual basis.

Offstumped Bottomline: Mr. Modi’s fate must be decided by the people of Gujarat and the Courts and not by unelected bureaucrats sitting in Nirvachan Sadan. The Election Commission’s notice to Mr. Modi gives Institutional Sanction to the perversity of taking offense to a criminal’s extra-judicial death based on his religious background. By ignoring remarks from the Congress which were blatantly communal and replete with hatred, the Commission has exposed its partisan dark side. The EC must withdraw its notice or face the prospect of a future impeachment.

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