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'Open Threat to Bengal': EC Notice to BJP Leader Over 'Inflammatory Remarks' on Sitalkuchi Violence

File pic of the Injured being treated after the Cooch Behar clashes. (PTI)

File pic of the Injured being treated after the Cooch Behar clashes. (PTI)

ECI has asked him to explain his stand within 24 hours.

The Election Commission Thursday issued a notice to West Bengal BJP leader Sayantan Basu for his alleged “inflammatory" remark during a speech and asked him to explain his stand within 24 hours. The notice said the poll panel had received a complaint against Basu over his speech in North 24 Parganas’ Baranagar.

“(Barely audible) l, Sayantan Basu, am here to tell you that don’t try to play too much. We will play the game of Shitalkuchi. They killed 18 years old Ananda Barman…He was the brother of the BJP’s Shakti Pramukh. We did not have to wait for long…(Barely audible) Four of them were shown the way to heaven. “There was a dialogue in the film ‘Sholay’ you know — if you kill one we will kill four of you. Shitalkuchi witnessed it — if you kill one we will kill four of you…," the EC notice said, quoting portions of his speech.

Election Commission of India (ECI) issues notice to BJP’s Sayantanu Basu over his “inflammatory statement" which is an “open threat to Bengal & its people" delivered at a rally in North 24 Parganas’ Baranagar. ECI asks him to explain his stand within 24 hours.#WestBengalPolls pic.twitter.com/b0lqLwSWnS

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The Commission said his speech was found to be in violation of the model code and provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The Election Commission had on Tuesday barred BJP leader Rahul Sinha from campaigning for 48 hours and slapped a notice on its West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh over their “provocative" remarks on the Sitalkuchi incident, saying such statements could have a serious impact on law and order. Strongly condemning Sinha’s reported remarks that central forces “should have killed eight rather than four people", the EC said he made “highly provocative statements mocking human life and inciting the forces that could have serious law and order implications".

The Commission said it found the remarks of the leaders violative of the model code and various provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code. The high-octane assembly election campaign in the state, where the BJP and the Trinamool Congress have unleashed a no-holds-barred attack against each other, has seen the EC clamping down on leaders of both parties for their objectionable utterances.

On Monday, the poll panel barred West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours for her remarks against central forces and a statement that allegedly had religious overtones. The EC, in another order, has let off BJP candidate from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari with a light rap for his remarks that “if people vote for Begum there will be mini Pakistan".

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