The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to Malegaon blast accused and BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur over her remark about Hemant Karkare, the Maharashtra ATS chief who was killed in the 26/11 terror attack, an official said in Bhopal. Addressing BJP workers on Thursday night, Thakur had claimed that Karkare died during the attack as she had "cursed" him for torturing her when he probed the blast case as chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad. However, after her remarks kicked up a row, she tendered an apology Friday.
Speaking to news agency PTI, District Election Officer and Bhopal Collector Sudam Khade said, "We took suo motu cognisance of the statement and sought a report from the assistant returning officer (ARO) on the matter. We got the report this morning and we have issued notice, which is returnable within 24 hours, to the organiser of the programme and the person who made the statement".
"We have also sent ARO report’s copy to the EC," he added. Asked about the point of serving the notice to her as she has already tendered apology, Khade said, "Let the reply come, then we will decide".
The organiser of the Thursday’s event had been given permission on certain conditions as the model code of conduct was in force, he said.
One of the conditions was that “objectionable language to defame anyone” will not be used, he said. Out on bail, Thakur (48) is facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the blast case.
The BJP on Wednesday fielded her from the Bhopal seat, where she is set to have a direct contest with Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.
Her statement against Karkare raised a political storm Friday with opposition parties attacking the BJP and the Congress demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The saffron party distanced itself from her comments, saying it was her "personal view" which she might have made "due to years of physical and mental torture".