The notice follows a BJP complaint against Mr. Khan’s remarks that it was “Muslim soldiers” who recaptured the heights of Kargil in 1999
Finding some contents of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's election speeches to be “prima facie” in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission on Wednesday night issued a notice to him and gave him time till Friday evening to respond.
The Commission was acting on a complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier in the day against Mr. Khan's speech in Ghaziabad on Tuesday in which he said it was “Muslim soldiers” who recaptured the heights of Kargil in 1999. The BJP had also complained about an earlier speech made by Mr. Khan in Rampur where he had made some comments in reference to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's reported remark that he felt sad about the riots in 2002 in the State under his watch and added that he would feel sad even if a puppy was run over by his car.
In its petition, the BJP also sought action against the Samajwadi Party for what it alleged were attempts made by the party to “divide security forces on communal lines during the elections”.
“This is election time and the EC has responsibility to conduct the polls impartially. Security forces have a crucial role to play in the elections. If any body tries to do communal politics over security forces, then it will have a serious repercussion on electioneering," BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
Urging the EC to take action, the BJP spokesperson said Mr. Khan’s statement is an “insult” to the bravery of the soldiers. “The communal comment by Azam Khan during the elections shows the politics of communalism. It is an attempt to communalise national security,” Dr. Trivedi said.
Mr. Khan’s comments have not only denigrated the Army but also the sacrifices of soldiers, Dr. Trivedi said, adding SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav himself has been a former defence minister and should have reacted to the statement of his party colleague.
Accusing the SP of following a “communal agenda”, Dr. Trivedi said the party in its manifesto has promised 15 per cent reservation for minorities in security forces.