The Uttar Pradesh government has given sanction for prosecution of Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi, for his alleged hate speech during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections last year, a senior official said here on Friday.

“The State gave prosecution sanction against Mr. Gandhi on November 30 on an FIR registered against him at Kotwali police station in Pilibhit district last year,” Secretary (Home) Deepak Kumar told journalists. Mr. Kumar said prosecution sanction was given under various sections of the IPC and the Representation of the people Act.

The IPC sections include 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) and 505(2) (statement conducing to public mischief), he said.

During the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Gandhi, who was contesting from Pilibhit constituency, gave allegedly hate speeches in election rallies at Mohalla Dalchand and Barkhera town on March 7 and 8 last.

Taking cognisance of the two incidents, the Election Commission directed the Chief Electoral Officer of U.P. and the District Magistrate to initiate criminal proceedings against him.

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