Two Gujarati brothers, one in ninth grade and the other in the sixth, are suddenly center stage in a rather unlikely arena for children – politics – and it is none other than the Prime Minister who has now spoken about the duo, just days after the opposition Congress filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) alleging “misuse of children in politics.”
The Congress filed a complaint with the EC last Friday regarding a video of the Prime Minister with a girl who was seen giving a speech supporting the ruling BJP in Gujarat.
The most recent video shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking with brothers Avi and Jai, who are from a tribal background and were orphaned six years ago.
While addressing an election rally in Netrang, Modi said he was late because he had to meet two orphan boys whose lives had been changed for the better due to his government’s initiatives.
Modi said, “These two boys were only eight and six years old when they lost their parents six years ago. With no one to care for them, they were looking after each other, “When I came across their details, I asked our party member, CR Paatil to help them out. “We arranged for their education and also got them home.”
“Today, when I see these boys, who wish to become a [district] collector and an engineer, my heart swells with pride,” he added.
“Even in the absence of their parents and without a shelter of their own, if these boys can dream big, they only make me feel inspired,” the Prime Minister added.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tweeted a video of the Prime Minister speaking about the two boys at an election rally, saying, “Listen to the touching story of the struggle of children named Avi and Jai from the mouth of Hon’ble Prime Minister.”
Gujarat state BJP president CR Patil stated that when the Prime Minister first learned about these two children six years ago, he was concerned for their well-being.
He said that it was Modi who had arranged for a home for these boys and their education.
While the BJP is now attempting to capitalize on the positive vibes generated by the viral video and Mr Modi’s comments about the two orphan boys, the opposition Congress has taken strong exception to what they call the “use of children in politics,” following the earlier release of a video of a girl speaking in support of the BJP in Gujarat.
The party has asked the EC to take action against parties and their leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for alleged “misuse” of children in political campaigns.
Following a meeting with EC officials last Friday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted that the EC had assured the party of action.
“We also hope against hope that the NCPCR finds its spine and issues a notice to the PM,” Mr. Ramesh tweeted, referring to the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.
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