EC Imposes a 72-hour Ban on BJP’s Bhopal Candidate Sadhvi Pragya for her Controversial Remarks on Karkare and Babri Masjid Demolition

Written by SabrangIndia | Published on: May 2, 2019
In a welcome decision, the Election Commission (EC) has imposed a 72-hour ban on Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhopal candidate, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, after she stoked controversies with her remarks on the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief and 26/11 martyr Late Hemant Karkare and the Babri Masjid demolition. Thakur has been barred from campaigning for three days for violating the Model Code of Conduct by stirring up communal feelings.

Pragya

Though Thakur had apologised for her comment on Karkare, the EC found them “unwarranted”. An FIR has also been filed against her under section 188 (disobedience to a public servant’s order) of the Indian Penal Code. “...the Commission has carefully gone through the contents and averments made in the aforesaid reply of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and found it provocative and also on religious lines that have the propensity of spreading hatred among various communities...,” the order read.

Karkare was leading the investigating team of the 2008 Malegaon Blast case in which Sadhvi Pragya is a key accused. She had said, “Maine kaha tha tera sarvanash hoga (I cursed and wished that he would be finished)," and, "An inauspicious period started for Hemant Karkare when I was arrested. Exactly 45 days later he was killed and that was the end of the inauspicious period.”  EC had served a notice for the same.

However, Sadhvi Pragya continued with her outrageous remarks. On April 20, Thakur had said, “Ram Mandir hum banayenge aur bhavya banayenge, hum todne gaye the dhancha, maine chadhkar toda tha dhancha, iss par mujhe bhayankar garv hai. Mujhe Ishwar ne shakti di thi humne desh ka kalank mitaya hai” (A grand Ram temple will be built. I had gone to demolish the structure and had climbed atop it to break the structure. I am tremendously proud of this. God gave me the strength to wipe off a blot on this country). EC then issued a second notice.

Though the EC has been praised for the ban, opposition parties are yet demanding for Sadhvi’s nomination to be cancelled owing to the severe criminal charges against her.

The Congress candidate from Bhopal, Digvijaya Singh, welcomed the order. “It is natural when the BJP fields (a person) accused of terrorism and those (who) indulge in the politics of communal hatred. It would be better that the nomination of such candidates was cancelled for safeguarding the ideals of democratic values,” he tweeted.

Thakur said she would appeal the decision. “I will abide by the law. Legal experts are looking into the EC decision. I will appeal against the same,” she said.

The ban has come into force from 06.00 am on Thursday morning.

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