March 27, 2009 1:13:58 am
The Election Commission (EC) of India today issued notices to Imran Kidwai,chairman of the minority cell of the Congress and the party to explain their stand on a speech delivered by him at a rally in Chandigarh on March 15. The decision was taken after a meeting of the Election Commission in Delhi.
During the rally held opposite Jama Masjid in Sector 20,comprising primarily Muslim population,Kidwai had stated: Main mufti nahin hoon iska mujhe afsos hai kyunki mufti log hamare yahan fatawa de sakte hain. Aur agar main mufti hota to sirf ek fatwa deta ki musalmaan ka BJP ke sath jana kufr ke barabar hai. (I regret not being a cleric. Only clerics can issue a fatwa. If I were a cleric,the only fatwa I would issue would be that to vote for BJP is like committing a sin).
He further said that some people of the community still join and vote for the BJP seeking personal benefits. Mohsina Kidwai,general secretary of the party,was also present during the rally.
The BJP had sent a complaint to the EC stating that the speech was in violation of the code of conduct and could fuel communal hatred. Pradip Mehra,UT Chief Electoral Officer,had sent a report to the EC along with a CD containing Kidwais speech.
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Welcoming the decision,Satya Pal Jain,BJP candidate from the city,said the speech was inflammatory. We welcome the decision taken by the EC. The comments made by Kidwai in the presence of Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal were in bad taste.
To have said that a fatwa should be issued against Muslims who vote for BJP was an insult to the community, said Jain.
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