After Didi, BJP netas face EC ire for provocative remarks

3 weeks ago 30
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NEW DELHI: A day after it slapped a 24-hour campaign ban on Bengal CM

Mamata Banerjee

for alleged communal remarks and exhorting voters to ‘gherao’ paramilitary personnel, the

Election Commission

served a notice to

BJP

’s Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh for suggesting there would be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents if “someone crosses his limits” in the next phase of polling on April 17.
The EC also banned BJP leader Rahul Sinha — while consciously deciding not to precede its order with a notice — over his remarks that “eight, and not four, people should have been killed” in the

Sitalkuchi firing

.
As for Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata’s former aide and now her opponent in

Nandigram

who was under the EC scanner for his “begum” and “mini-Pakistan” jibes during a March 29 speech, the poll panel took a lenient view after he promised to abide by the EC’s directives. He was let off with a warning and advice to desist from using such statements in his public utterances during the election period.
Four people were killed in firing by CISF personnel at a polling station in Sitalkuchi during polling on April 10. Reports sought by the EC said the paramilitary personnel resorted to firing “in self-defence” against a violent mob.
The EC, in its notice to Ghosh, said it was of the view that he had, in violation of the model code of conduct, Section 123(3A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and Section 153A of the

IPC

(the latter two dealing with promoting communal hatred) “made statements that are provocative and can seriously incite the emotions and lead to breakdown of law and order, thereby adversely affecting the election process”. The EC gave him time until 10 am on Wednesday to explain.
While addressing a public rally in Barangar, North 24 Parganas on April 11, Ghosh had said, “Where did so many naughty boys come from? Those naughty boys were shot at yesterday in Sitalkuchi. These naughty boys will not be there in Bengal. Those who thought that the central forces' rifles were meant to be just for show have well understood now the power of cartridges. And this will be carried on throughout Bengal. Those who take the law in their own hands will be given a befitting answer. I hope that you all will queue up to cast your votes on the morning on April 17. Central forces will be there in the booths. No one can show you an angry eye. Because we are here. And if someone crosses his limits, then you have seen what happened in Sitalkuchi. There will be Sitalkuchi in several places.”
Trinamool Congress

had complained to the EC against Ghosh’s “inflammatory” statement, saying it was an “open threat to Bengal and its people”.
Strongly condemning Sinha’s statement during a speech on April 12, the EC barred him from campaigning in any manner from 12 noon on Tuesday to 12 noon on Thursday. He had said, “The central forces have given them a befitting answer. The central forces should have killed eight people instead of four in Sitalkuchi. The central forces should be issued a show cause notice as to why they have killed only four of them.”
Stating that it had decided to issue the order against him without serving a notice “due to urgency of the matter,” the EC chided him for “his highly provocative statements mocking human life, and inciting the forces that could have serious law and order implications, thereby adversely affecting the election process”.
The order on Adhikari cited his explanation that he firmly believed in free and fair elections with no ill-will between candidates or personal attacks, that he had no mala fide intention to criticise anyone personally or make any offensive or derogatory remarks against anyone, and that he had not violated the model code but would be more careful in the future. Adhikari also promised to abide by any directives of the EC.

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