On Election Commission directions, the Madhya Pradesh police Monday registered an FIR against Bhopal BJP candidate Pragya Singh Thakur for violating the poll code with her remarks on the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The FIR was filed two days after Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, was served a notice for her comments in an interview to TV9 when Thakur had bragged about climbing atop the Babri Masjid in 1992 to demolish it.
Bhopal collector and returning officer Sudama Khade told The Indian Express that her reply was “not tenable” and that he ordered the registration of FIR against under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC.
Confirming that the FIR, Punendra Singh, the in-charge of the Kamala Nagar Police Station said the offence is bailable.
Striking a defiant note in her reply to the EC, Thakur said her comments on the demolition of Babri mosque did not violate the Model Code of Conduct. In her reply, she questioned the competence of the media certification and monitoring committee to take cognizance of her comment when she had not filed her nomination. She said she did not make the comment to whip up communal or religious passions. “My comment was an expression of my inner voice,’’ she said.
Incidentally, Thakur also filed her nomination Monday choosing an auspicious time. She had taken a vow of silence and avoided speaking to media before filing her nomination. She is also set to another nomination on Tuesday according to Bhopal MP Alok Sanjar.
Sanjar said that unlike Monday a big procession will be taken out under the leadership of former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday and that other leaders and party workers will attend the procession.
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The district returning officer has also served her a notice for comments about former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, which drew widespread criticism. In her reply to the notice for remarks on Karkare, she said it was an emotional outburst because she experienced personal pain and said she had expressed regrets for her comment.
MP Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said her reply and the report submitted by the district returning officer were being examined and will be sent to the EC.
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).”