Delhi Assembly Elections: EC orders removal of Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma as BJP star campaigners (Photo Credit: Composite Image)
Election Commission of India has ordered removal of Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma from the list of star campaigners of BJP for Delhi assembly elections. An order issued by the poll body on Wednesday barred the two leaders who made objectionable comments while campaigning during election rallies.
"The Election Commission has ordered the removal of Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma from the list of star campaigners of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the NCT of Delhi with immediate effect and until further orders," the order said.
The Election Commission also issued notice to Parvesh Verma on Wednesday for prima facie violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC). He has been given till 12 noon on 30th January to provide an explanation, failing which EC will take a decision on the matter. Election Commission had issued a show-cause notice to Union minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday for his “desh ke gaddaron ko” slogan at a poll meeting here, saying prima facie the remarks had the “potential of disturbing communal harmony” and the BJP MP had violated the poll code and electoral law.
West Delhi's BJP MP Parvesh Verma on Tuesday said what happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits could happen in Delhi, warning that lakhs of anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh could enter homes to rape and kill women.
During an election rallye, BJP leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan - "traitors should be shot at" - after he lashed out at anti-CAA protesters.
On Tuesday, the Delhi CEO Office had submitted reports to the Election Commission on "provocative" language used by BJP MPs Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma while canvassing for party candidates contesting the Delhi Assembly polls, officials said.
"The Office of the Delhi CEO has submitted its report to the EC, on the suspected violation of Model Code of Conduct by Anurag Thakur, MP and BJP's star campaigner, for using provocative slogans," a senior official of the Delhi CEO office had said.
"A report has also been sent in connection with another star campaigner of BJP for Delhi Elections, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, regarding Shaheen Bagh protests and his tweet regarding religious places," the official had told PTI.
While the official did not specify for which tweet the report has been sent, Verma had on January 18 tweeted in Hindi that government land in the city encroached by religious structures will be freed if the BJP comes to power in Delhi. The MP had also said in the tweet that complaints have been received regarding more than 54 mosques and madrassas on government land in the city.
Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh had on Monday had sought a report from the North West district's election officer after Thakur's rally. "We have taken cognisance of the incident and have sought a report from the district election officer. However, we have not received any complaint so far," a senior official in the Delhi CEO Office said had on Monday.
At the rally, Thakur, the Minister of State for Finance, shouted "desh ke gaddaron ko" to which the crowd responded "goli maro sa*** ko" (shoot down the traitors). Thakur was addressing the meeting in support of BJP candidate from Rithala, Manish Chaudhary.
He raised the pitch of nationalism as he linked opposition parties with anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh and with alleged anti-India slogans, and then asked the crowd to raise the incendiary slogan. The incident has triggered a row, drawing sharp reaction form the Congress which demanded that the Election Commission (EC) take action against Thakur.