by malnadnews 10/4/2014
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan over a string of controversial remarks made by him while campaigning in Uttar Pradesh, including the one crediting Muslim soldiers for the victory in Kargil war.
The EC notice said Khan had prime facie violated the model code of conduct provisions that restrain parties and candidates from making personal attacks, making statements that could deepen communal differences and appealing to communal feelings to secure votes.
The EC notice mentions his speeches at Rampur on April 2 and April 5, and at Ghaziabad on April 7.
While Khan had on April 2 referred to Modi’s earlier comment of “puppy getting run over by a car” made in context of Gujarat riots, and called Modi an “elder brother of the puppy”, on April 5 he threatened the incoming government at the Centre to stay within limits of the law.
On April 5 in Rampur, Khan, a senior minister in the UP government, called Amit Shah a “goonda” and murder accused”.
On April 7 during a rally in Ghaziabad, Azam Khan had said, “Those who fought for victory in Kargil were not Hindu soldiers, in fact the ones who fought for our victory were Muslim soldiers.”
The EC is prima facie of the opinion that his statement violated sub para 1, 2 and 3 of Para 1 of the model code of conduct.
According to sub para 1 of Para 1, “no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences of create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious of linguistic..”. Sub para 2 restrains parties and candidates from making personal attacks againat rival party leaders. Sub para 3 of Para 1 states that “there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for security votes”.
Khan has been asked to reply to EC notice by 5pm on April 11, failing which the commission would act in the matter without any further reference to him.
The EC notice followed shortly after BJP’s appeal to EC seeking stern action against Azam Khan for maligning the Army and denigrating the sacrifices of Indian soldiers. “This is election time and the EC has responsibility to conduct the polls impartially. Security forces have a crucial role to play in the elections. If any body tries to do communal politics over security forces, then it will have a serious repercussion on electioneering,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
“The cut-throat competition between the so called secular parties has reached to an extent that it has challenged India’s nationhood,” he told reporters, and appealed to the EC to take exemplary action against Khan.
Azam Khan, on his part, defended his remarks on Wednesday stating that his statement should be welcomed, he asked why people felt bad when contributions of the Muslim community were talked about.
“I want to say that if we sacrifice our lives on the borders, if we take back our mountains from Pakistan in the war, then why do people feel bad about it? Why can’t we talk about contributions of Muslims for the country?” he asked.