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EC cracks whip on Assam ministers over poll speeches

The EC told Sarmah that prima facie, it was of the view his statements violate the code of conduct, and asked him to explain his stance.

Assam’s Health and Education Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarmah, who reportedly said the “blood of Muslims” flows through water pipes in Gujarat, has been slapped a notice by the EC for violating the provisions of the model code of conduct.

Sarmah, at Panch Mile in Tezpur on March 29, reportedly said, “You said that in Gujarat, a Maruti car can drive through a water pipe… In Gujarat the blood of Muslims flows through these pipes… Pray to Allah to make Bhupen Bora the winner in Tezpur… So this type of killer could never be the PM of India. Pray for it during namaz also.”

The EC told Sarmah that prima facie, it was of the view his statements violate the code of conduct, and asked him to explain his stance.
The EC has also expressed its “displeasure” to Assam minister Dr Nazrul Islam and Lok Sabha MP from the state Badaruddin Ajmal over allegedly inflammatory speeches made during campaigning, warning them to be more careful in the future.

During a political meeting on March 21, Islam reportedly said, “Everybody has to abide by Hindu mode and others are second class citizens…this is their principle… What will BJP do if they come to power? They will strike at our religion — BJP is our religious enemy.”
Ajmal, meanwhile, was accused of violating the code of conduct after he made a statement before media in Guwahati on March 22, when he reportedly said, “…We will be guilty before Allah if, because of our fault, a single seat is won by the BJP.”

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Islam told the EC he “had not uttered a single word which can disturb communal harmony”. Ajmal, meanwhile, said his statements are “not communal or provocative to any class/community” and he “did not aggravate communal tension among community or religious groups”.
However, the EC said it was convinced that both leaders had made communal and inflammatory statements, which could aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different communities.

First published on: 24-04-2014 at 03:09:48 am
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