Campaign Ban On Union Minister Anurag Thakur, BJP MP Parvesh Verma For Controversial Remarks
The Election Commission on Thursday barred Union Minister Anurag Thakur from campaigning in the Delhi Assembly polls for three days and Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Parvesh Verma for four days for their controversial remarks.
The ban came into force from 5 p.m. on Thursday.
The EC said the decision was taken as it was not satisfied with their respective replies to the show-cause notices.
West Delhi MP Verma on Tuesday said what happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits could happen in Delhi, warning that lakhs of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters in Shaheen Bagh could enter homes to rape and kill women.
During an election rally, Thakur egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan -- "shoot the traitors" -- after he lashed out at anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters.
The EC orders said Thakur and Verma would continue to be off the list of of BJP's star campaigners for the Delhi Assembly polls.
In his reply to the show cause notice, Thakur told the EC that he had only said "desh ke gaddaron ko" (traitors of the country) and it was the crowd which responded.
He maintained he had no intention to create or promote enmity between people.
Thakur had sought a personal appearance before the Commission, a plea which was rejected.
The EC said the BJP leader made undesirable and objectionable statement which had the tone and tenor to aggravate existing differences.
It barred Thakur from holding public ralles, meetings, giving interviews, making utterances in print, electronic and social media for 72 hours (three days) beginning 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Verma has been barred from campaigning for 96 hours (four days) for his interview in which he made remarks on Shaheen Bagh and a statement on removing mosques at an election meeting in Vikas Puri on Jan. 28.
In his reply, Verma said his remarks on Shaheen Bagh protesters were in response to a question in an interview and were misrepresented by the media.
He also said his statement on removal of mosques was in context of removing illegal encroachments from government lands.
Like Thakur, Verma too had sought a personal hearing before the poll panel. But it was rejected.
On Jan. 25, BJP candidate from Model Town Kapil Mishra was barred from campaigning for 48 hours for inflammatory tweets. One of the tweets was removed by Twitter and an FIR was logded against on the directions of the EC.