New Delhi, Jan 30: The Election Commission on Thursday barred Union Minister Anurag Thakur for three days from campaigning in the Delhi assembly election and BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh for four days for their 'undesirable and objectionable' statements.
The Commission said the ban will come into effect on January 30 at 5pm and the decision to remove Mr Thakur and Mr Sahib Singh from the list of BJP’s star campaigners for the Delhi assembly polls shall continued to be in force. "The Commission has carefully considered the matter and viewed that Mr Thakur and Mr Sahib Singh has made undesirable and objectionable statements which has the potential to aggravate existing differences and create mutual hatred between different religious communities, and thus violated the provisions of Model Code of Conduct and Representation of the People Act, 1951,'' the Commission said in separate orders.
Earlier, the Commission had issued a show cause notice to both the leaders that they have violated MCC and asked them to submit their reply by 12 noon on January 30. In his reply, Mr Thakur, who is the Minister of State for Finance, said that he has changed only ‘desh Ke Gaddaron ko’ which literally means the 'traitor of the country' and it was the crowd that responded to his slogans. He has further stated that he had neither intention to create or promote enmity between different religions, races, castes or communities not did he do any covert/avert act in furtherance of the same and thus the same is not violated of the MCC.
The West Delhi MP, Mr Sahib Singh, said in his reply that the statements regarding the protesters at Shaheen Bagh was in response to a question in an interview and was intended to highlight certain incident that disturbed peace in several states and his statements were misrepresented in the Media. He further said that his statement regarding removal of Masjids in the public meeting at Vikaspuri was in the context of removing illegal encroachment on government land and denied that there was any violation of MCC. Both the leaders have requested for opportunity of personal hearing to them, however, the Commission "does not consider the need for any hearing in the matter".
Condemning the statements made by the BJP leaders, the poll body barred Mr Thakur from holding any public meeting, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in the media (electronic, print, social media) etc. in connection with the ongoing assembly election process for a period of 72 hours and Mr Sahib Singh for 96 hours starting from 5pm on January 30. (UNI)