Election Commission orders filing of criminal cases
NEW DELHI: Varun Gandhi, BJP’s Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency candidate has landed himself in trouble, with the Election Commission directing Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer A.K. Bishnoi to file criminal cases, under the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act, 1951, against him for allegedly making “anti-Muslim” inflammatory speeches a few days ago.
The full Commission of Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi, which went through reports and video recordings of the speeches, also ordered notice to the BJP and Mr. Gandhi for alleged violation of the model code of conduct.
The Commission also ordered transfer of the district officials and suspended two others for alleged dereliction of duty.
Though the 29-year old grandson of Indira Gandhi and son of the former Union Minister, Maneka Gandhi, denied speaking against minorities with communal overtones and asserted that the CD material telecast by television channels was doctored, many of the channels and a news agency quoted him as saying at an election meeting in Banderkheda in Pilibhit: “This is not a hand [Congress symbol], it is the power of lotus [BJP symbol]. It will cut the head of …” He concluded with “Jai Shri Ram.”
He has also been quoted as saying: “If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless; if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes; if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand.”
While “Jai Shri Ram” was his battle cry at roadside meetings or assemblies, some of the other slogans used were Gau hatya rukwana hai, Varun Gandhi ko jitana hai (cow slaughter must stop, Varun Gandhi must win) and Varun nahin yeh aandhi hai, doosra Sanjay Gandhi hai (Varun Gandhi is like a storm, he is another Sanjay Gandhi).
Atiq Khan reports from Lucknow:
A spokesman of the Uttar Pradesh Home Department said in Lucknow on Tuesday that a case was filed against Mr. Gandhi in the Barkhedha police station under Sections 153 A and 188 of the IPC and Section 125 of Representation of the People Act.
The FIR was lodged by the Station House Officer of the Barkhedha station and investigations were on, the spokesman said. The report of the Pilibhit District Magistrate on the alleged violation of the code by Mr. Gandhi was referred to the Election Commission, he added.