EC issues notice to Shah: ‘Explain revenge remarks’
The Election Commission Monday issued a notice to BJP general secretary Amit Shah for prima facie violation of model code of conduct by making communal references while campaigning in western Uttar Pradesh recently. The EC move comes a day after two FIRs were lodged against Shah, a close aide of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The Commission has asked the BJP leader to explain by Wednesday why action should not be initiated against him for making objectionable statements during speeches delivered in Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor and Shamli districts, UP Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said.
“The commission is, prima facie, of the opinion that…you have violated the… provisions of model code of conduct… Now, therefore, the commission gives you an opportunity to explain your stand in making the above said statement before 5 pm on April 9, 2014, failing which the ECI shall take a decision without further reference to you,” the notice said while mentioning his objectionable remarks made at three places.
It cited the model code of conduct provisions that “no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic” and that “there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes”.
Shah triggered a controversy when during a meeting with Jat community leaders in Muzaffarnagar on Thursday, he said, “This election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats. It is about badla (revenge) and protecting izzat (honour).” On Friday, he repeated that while a man could live without food and water, “apmaan ka badla to lena hoga (an insult has to be avenged)”.
The Commission also mentioned Shah’s alleged statements in Bijnor as: “Behen Mayawati ne ek varg vishesh ka vote pane ke liye, jo aapki pratarana karta hai, aapki behen betiyon ki avhelna karta hai, unki aabru par hath daalta hai, us varg vishesh ko 19 ticket de diye (In order to get the votes of a particular community, which harasses you, flouts your sisters daughters, tries to violate their dignity, Behen Mayawati has given 19 tickets to that community).”
“Friends, you tell me, can our respect ever increase by sitting with those who insulted our community, killed the people of our community, killed our youths?” he further said, according to the Commission notice.
“If you will vote for the BJP unitedly then not only Narendra Modi will become Prime Minister,……then the government of Mullah Mulayam will fall on its own,” it further cited his alleged statement.
BJP had Sunday condemned the filing of two FIRs against Shah in Bijnor and Muzaffarnagar districts as a “calculated design” to communalise and polarise the election scenario in UP.