Congress party has knocked at the doors of the Election Commission asking it to exercise its constitutional powers to withdraw the poll symbol of the BJP and derecognise the party because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘communal’ speech in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur on Sunday.
According to a report by ANI, KC Miital, the party’s secretary of the Legal and Human Rights Department, on Monday branded Modi’s ‘Diwali, Ramzan bhed-bhav’ remark as deplorable.
“We will approach the Election Commission that stern action should be taken against the Prime Minister and the BJP. Earlier also we have made number of complains and having requesting of de-recognisation of their symbol. We hope and expect that the EC will ultimately exercise their constitutional powers and ensure that free and fair elections are held. Their symbol should be withdrawal and should be derecognized,” he was quoted by news agency ANI.
He added, “Prime Minister talks of shamshaan and kabristan to evoke the religious sentiments of the people. He talks of Dalits, OBC trying to show discrimination; he talks of Diwali and Eid. All that is in what he said is in particular in reference to evoke the feelings of the people and it is clear violation of the court.”
In an alleged bid to communalise the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Modi on Sunday had invoked religion to seek votes from the state’s electorates.
Stressing that there should be “no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion”, Modi said, “Agar Ramzan mein bijli aati hai, to Diwali me bhi aani chahiye, bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye (If there is electricity during Ramzan, it must also be available during Diwali, there should be no discrimination),” he said.
Modi’s attempts to woo voters in the name of religion didn’t stop at Ramzan and Diwali. He went a step further and said that if there was a kabaristaan (Muslims’ burial place), there should be a shamshaan (cremation ground for Hinus) too.
As expected, Modi’s speech evoked angry reactions from his political adversaries and members of civil groups, who felt that the prime minister invoking religion smacked of his fear of losing elections.
Modi’s comments may also be construed as a serious violation of the Supreme Court’s recent verdict that bars political parties and their supporters from seeking votes by invoking religion.
In a majority verdict in early January, the Supreme Court had held that any appeal for votes on ground of religion amounts to corrupt practices under electoral laws.