EC bans Giriraj Singh from campaigning

EC bans Giriraj Singh from campaigning

The Election Commission on Tuesday banned Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh from campaigning in Jharkhand and Bihar, taking serious note of “highly inflammatory speeches and statements before the Media on 18th April, 2014 at Bokaro and Deoghar in Jharkand” during his election campaign.

In a letter to the chief secretaries of the two states, the poll panel has directed them to ensure that cases lodged against the BJP leader in this connection be investigated “quickly” and brought to a “logical conclusion”.

“No permission should be granted for holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, etc, by the district administration of Bihar and Jharkhand, where Singh is expected or is likely to participate,” the EC has directed. The poll panel also served notice on the BJP leader, asking him to explain his stand before April 24. Singh is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Nawada, in Bihar.

The EC noted that Giriraj Singh’s statements “promote feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will and create disharmony between different communities”. “The Commission has particularly noted that part of his public utterance that voters who do not vote for  Modi shall have to find their place in Pakistan ... is totally violative of the principles of the Indian Constitution.”

“The Commission is, prima facie, of the opinion that by making the aforesaid statements you (Singh) have violated the Model Code of Conduct,” the panel noted.
The Commission’s move comes following a report from the chief election officer (CEO) of Jharkhand over the controversial remarks that he made at a poll meeting in Deoghar and Bokaro on April 24.

“The Commission gives you an opportunity to explain your stand in making the above said statement before 5 pm of 24th April, 2014, failing which the ECI shall take a decision without further reference to you,” the commission said, in its notice to Singh.

The EC directed the chief secretaries of Bihar and Jharkhand to take “all preventive measures” against Singh to ensure that he does not resort to any “commission or omission” which could affect the public tranquility as well as law and order.His statements were not only violative of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, but also constitute “serious offences” under various laws, it added.

Meanwhile, the BJP has lodged a complaint with the Commission against Union Ministers Beni Prasad Verma and Kapil Sibal, accusing them of “vitiating” the election campaign by making "baseless" allegations against the leaders of the main Opposition.

The party also demanded the deployment of adequate central forces in Uttar Pradesh, fearing massive rigging by the Congress and Samajwadi Party.

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