Meerut BJP MP booked for ‘speech inciting religious sentiments’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/meerut-bjp-mp-booked-for-speech-inciting-religious-sentiments-5192616/

Meerut BJP MP booked for ‘speech inciting religious sentiments’

The case is based on a speech she gave on Tuesday in Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, which will see a by-election on May 28.

Meerut BJP MP booked for ‘speech inciting religious sentiments’
Kanta Kardam

Saharanpur police on Saturday lodged a case against BJP MP Kanta Kardam on the orders of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

The case is based on a speech she gave on Tuesday in Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, which will see a by-election on May 28. Kardam, a Rajya Sabha member, however, said she had not said anything with the intent of hurting anyone’s religious sentiments.

“A case has been registered against the BJP MP on directives of the ECI today for violation of the model code of conduct for inciting religious sentiments of a community during her speech here on Tuesday evening,” said Yashpal Singh, Nakur police station house officer (SHO). Nakur falls under Kairana Lok Sabha constituency but is in Saharanpur.

“I have come to know from the media that a case has been registered against me at Nakur, while the fact is that I never said anything objectionable during my speech that day,” Kardam told The Sunday Express over phone. “Being a Dalit myself, I am bound to represent the cause of my community. With the motive to remind them about the past, I said that they (SP-RLD alliance candidate) are the people who conspired to burn BSP chief Mayawati alive in Lucknow in the state guest house in 1995. I simply warned my community members to remain alert while dealing with these people.”

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“The SP-BSP candidate, Tabassum Hasan, had represented Kairana earlier in Parliament and the constituency witnessed dominance of anti-social elements then. I only said that the same is in fray again and hence members of the Dalit community should vote cautiously,” she said, adding she had not said a word against Hasan’s community.

The BJP MP, who lost the recent mayoral poll in Meerut to BSP’s Sunita Verma, said she was going from village to village in Kairana to awaken her community against “machinations of opposition parties” to ensure defeat of BJP nominee Mriganka Singh in the bypoll.

The by-elections have been necessitated following death of BJP MP Hukum Singh earlier this year. Mriganka Singh is his daughter. The BSP is not contesting the by-election.