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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

EC notice to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari for ‘hate speech’ in Nandigram

In the speck on March 29, Adhikari had purportedly said, ‘If you vote for Begum, Nandigram will have a mini-Pakistan’.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: April 8, 2021 10:19:16 pm
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari (file photo)

The Election Commission of India has sent a notice to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct in a speech he made at a Nandigram rally on March 29.

According to the Election Commission, they received a complaint from CPIML politburo member Kavita Krishnan, in which it was alleged that Adhikari delivered a hate speech at the Nandigram rally. An authenticated transcript of the alleged speech was also received from the Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, said the Commission.

“The statement by Suvendu Adhikari has been examined in the Commission and the same has been found to be in violation of the clauses,” read a portion of the notice by ECI to Adhikari.

The EC has asked Adhikari to explain his stand within 24 hours of receiving the notice. The “objectionable” part of the speech has been included in the notice.

Adhikari had purportedly said in the speech, “I am fond of singing and hearing Kirtans. On the one hand, Begum is competing against us. Here is the son of your family, your younger brother, your friend, elder brother for my juniors. Whom would you like to accept, tell me?

“If you vote for Begum, there will be a mini Pakistan. (Barely audible)… A Dawood Ibrahim has come up in your locality….We will note down everything. What is the government doing?.. Which Puja celebration is coming next? Ramnavami. With which flower did Ramachandra worship Maa Durga? All of you should, therefore, vote for lotus.”

Adhikari then said in the first phase of the election, votes had been cast “against the politics of appeasement”.

“Do all of you understand the meaning of appeasement? Yes, you understand. Didn’t they say after the Lok Sabha vote that they are ready to accept even blows from those who were beneficial to them? This is appeasement. In the first phase votes were cast against appeasement. This time also votes will be cast against appeasement. The panchayats of TMC involved in the Amphan relief scam are roaming around.”

Hours before the notice, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, addressing a public rally had said, “How many complaints have been registered against those people who referred to Nandigram’s Muslims as Pakistanis? Aren’t they ashamed? They cannot do anything against me.”

The Election Commission had Wednesday issued a notice to Banerjee, for her alleged appeal to Muslim voters during her campaign in Hooghly. The CM had appealed to Muslim voters to not allow their votes to get split among different political parties. The ECI has sought explanation from her within 48 hours of receiving the notice.

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