New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday barred a BJP candidate in the Uttar Pradesh polls from campaigning for 24 hours for making communal remarks.
The 24-hour ban from campaigning for Raghvendra Pratap Singh, who is contesting the polls from the Domariyaganj Assembly seat, begins from 6 am on Monday.
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While issuing its order, the poll watchdog referred to a video clip in which Singh broadly said in Bhojpuri that Hindus who “go to the other side” (and vote for the rival candidate) have Muslim blood flowing in their veins.
The EC also provided the transcript of the purported remarks.
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It noted that an FIR has already been lodged against Singh under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and election laws.
Singh had submitted that the time provided to him for furnishing the reply to the notice was not sufficient and had sought extra time. But the commission rejected his plea.
Singh had also asserted that the inference was drawn upon by the incomplete video and transcript, and the statement was made by him only as a consoling gesture in respect of grievances regarding atrocities committed by particular individuals of the locality.
The order said the EC again saw the video recording of the speech and observed that the references made in the impugned speech were “utterly irresponsible, provocative and threatening in nature, and the same has undertone and propensity to disturb religious harmony of society”.
It deplored the statement made by Singh and censured him for the violation of the Model Code of Conduct and election laws.
“Commission, hereby orders under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, to prohibit him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) etc. in connection with ongoing elections for 24 hours from 06:00 am on 28.02.2022 (Monday),” the order read.
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