The Election Commission Wednesday barred Pragya Thakur from campaigning for three days after the poll watchdog found her remarks on Babri Masjid violative of the Model Code of Conduct. The ban will be in force from Thursday (May 2), starting 6 am.
The panel “strongly condemned” her remarks and warned her “not to repeat the misconduct in future”, reports PTI.
The BJP candidate from Bhopal, who is currently on bail in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, had said that she was proud of Babri Masjid’s demolition. In an interview to TV9, Thakur had bragged about climbing atop the Babri Masjid in 1992 to demolish it.
In the TV interview, Thakur had said, “Ram Mandir hum banayenge, evam bhavya banayenge. Hum todne gaye the dhancha, maine chadh kar toda tha dhancha iss par mujhe garv hai. Mujhe Ishwar ne shakti di thi humne desh ka kalank mitaya hai.” “(We will build Ram temple and build a grand one. We had gone to demolish the structure, I am proud that I climbed the structure and demolished it. God gave me power and we removed a blot on the nation).”
Bhopal District Election Officer had also issued a notice to Thakur and sought an explanation over her remarks. Besides, she was served notice in April by the EC for violating the model code of conduct over her comments about former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare. In her response to the show cause notice on Karkare, she had said that the idea was to tell people how she was tortured allegedly at the behest of the Congress-led UPA government. She had said that she holds the right to tell people what she had gone through.
On Babri mosque, she said she had no intentions of creating divide between people and her statement only reflects her inner voice.
The EC found her statements to be “provocative” and having the potential to “spread hatred”. The Commission felt the statements were aimed at securing votes on “religious grounds”.
Bhopal will vote in phase 6 of Lok Sabha elections on May 12. Pragya is pitted against Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
However, the 49-year-old reacted over the EC’s order today, saying that she respects the poll body.
-With ENS and PTI inputs