The Delhi BJP has asked the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to appoint “special observers for mosques, especially in Muslim-dominated areas so that political and religious leaders cannot spread hate among people to influence elections on line of religion, and Model Code of Conduct is not violated” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The capital will vote on May 12.
In a letter written to the Chief Electoral Officer, convenor of the Delhi BJP’s legal department, Neeraj, said the party was writing against the backdrop of “repeated recent attempts to polarise voters on religious and caste lines by AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal and his party members”.
“As is common knowledge, Kejriwal has in the recent past been in the centre of many controversies due to hate speeches he has been giving to incite the sentiments of minorities. He has been delivering many inflammatory and baseless statements to polarise votes, especially in Muslim-dominated areas,” the letter states, also giving links to his tweets and YouTube videos of his speeches in Badarpur and Jama Masjid.
“Other members of his party are also known to be regularly engaged in hate mongering. Amanatullah Khan recently made a speech stating that the Muslim community would not be able to vote in the 2019 elections due to the Holy month of Ramzan clashing with the poll schedule,” it reads.
“Considering the above, we have strong and reasonable apprehensions that Kejriwal and members of his party will try to polarise the Muslim vote in the name of religion… Many a times such inflammatory speeches are known to be given near or inside mosques, where innocent members of the minority community gather to offer prayers, especially on Friday, which makes them a soft target for hate mongering speeches,” it states, adding that “this goes unnoticed as speeches are often delivered behind curtains in these holy places”.
“During the holy month of Ramzan, there is a high possibility of politics of religion being indulged in to provoke Muslims,” it states, adding that special observers should consequently be appointed for mosques.
AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said: “We welcome any action by the EC to prevent communal discord. We believe that even in RSS shakhas communally charged discussions happen and observers should be posted there as well.”
When contacted, Delhi chief electoral officer Ranbir Singh said, “As per rules, our officials will be keeping an eye on political speeches being made from all religious places so the model code is not violated.”