The Election Commission of India on Tuesday warned the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari for his address on March 29 which allegedly possessed communal overtones.
In its notice, EC further advised to refrain himself from delivering public comments when the Model Code of Conduct is in force, reported the news agency ANI.
Election Commission of India warns WB BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari over a speech delivered by him on 29th March, for which he had filed a reply on 9th April. EC advises him to desist from using such statements while making public utterances when Model Code of Conduct is in force. pic.twitter.com/03Is42xxQD
— ANI (@ANI) April 13, 2021
The recent development comes after the BJP candidate allegedly delivered a “hate speech” in Nandigram while addressing a public meeting on March 29.
Issuing a notice against the Suvendu Adhikari for his comments, the EC referred to two provisions of the Model Code of Conduct which state that criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programmes, past record and work.
Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided. Another provision states that there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes, said the EC in its statement issued on April 8, 2021.
According to an Indian Express report, EC had asked Adhikari to explain his stand within 24 hours of receiving the notice which also included a part of his allegedly “objectionable” speech.
In a speech, Adhikari had purportedly said, “I am fond of singing and hearing Kirtans. On the one hand, Begum is competing against us. Here is the son of your family, your younger brother, your friend, elder brother for my juniors. Whom would you like to accept, tell me?
“If you vote for Begum, there will be a mini Pakistan. (Barely audible)… A Dawood Ibrahim has come up in your locality….We will note down everything. What is the government doing?.. Which Puja celebration is coming next? Ramnavami. With which flower did Ramachandra worship Maa Durga? All of you should, therefore, vote for lotus.”
Adhikari is pitted against the West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram. He is also known to be the former aide of the TMC supremo who joined the party in 1998. Adhikari along with a host of other TMC members, later joined BJP in 2020, in the presence of party leader and Union minister Amit Shah.