BJP asks election office to look into Imam's poll pitch

'Appeal for votes from any religious place violates code'

The BJP on Friday asked the Election Commission to see if it was fair for the Shahi Imam Syed Mohammad Bukhari of Jama Masjid to make any appeal in favour of the Congress from the premises of Jama Masjid.

In a press statement, Delhi BJP Lok Sabha Election Management and Campaign Committee chief V K Malhotra said that appealing for votes from a religious place such as temple, gurdwara, church or mosque or using them for electioneering is a violation of the model code of conduct.

Malhotra slammed the Congress and said the party is apprehending defeat so its president is “taking the shelter of Imam of Jama Masjid which is a communal act”.

He added that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s statement that the Muslim “Dharm Guru” should not allow division of secular votes is highly objectionable and an attempt to play the Muslim card.

Malhotra appealed to all ‘nationalist’ Muslim leaders that they should not listen to the appeal of the Imam and make the BJP victorious in the April 10 polls.

Harsh Vardhan, BJP candidate from Chandni Chowk seat and Delhi unit chief, held a Dalit conference in Nai Basti in Anand Parbat area and criticised the Congress for ignoring them. “Since independence, the Congress governments have deprived Dalits of the rights and respect which they deserved,” said Harsh Vardhan.

“This is the reason why the Dalits could not avail the basic amenities and fundamental rights. After becoming the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will treat the Dalits equally and give them respect,” he said.

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