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News18 » Politics
2-min read

After EC Action, Why Inviting Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma to Rallies May Cost BJP Candidates

The EC action will not stop the two from canvassing for votes in Delhi, and only means they cannot avail the benefits given to a star campaigner.

Aditya Sharma | News18.com@aditya_shz

Updated:January 29, 2020, 3:50 PM IST
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After EC Action, Why Inviting Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma to Rallies May Cost BJP Candidates
Anurag Thakur (L) and Parvesh Sharma made communally charged statements as the BJP looks to consolidate Hindu votes for Delhi elections.

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday removed Minister of State for finance, Anurag Thakur, and West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma as star campaigners of the BJP for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections after their incendiary and communally charged statements and slogans.

However, the move will not stop the two from canvassing for votes in the national capital, and only means they cannot avail the benefits allowed to a star campaigner until the Election Commission makes a final decision.

SK Mendiratta, a former advisor to the poll body, told News18.com that unlike candidates, star campaigners are exempted from a cap on the expenditure. So if Thakur and Verma now campaign for any candidate, then the expenditure incurred will be added to the candidate’s election expenses.

“Star campaigners expenditure on travel and other arrangements is exempted from the candidate’s expenditure. Only ordinary campaigner’s expenditure is included in the candidates account,” he said.

The former EC advisor noted that even if Verma and Thakur campaign for the saffron party, their expenditure will capped at the candidate’s limit of Rs 28 lakh. The expenditure of star campaigners is otherwise borne by the party.

This basically means Election Commission dis-incentivised any further campaign by these two leaders for BJP candidates in Delhi, but has not stopped them.

Before Thakur and Verma, BJP’s poll candidate Kapil Mishra had also faced EC action as he was banned from campaigning for 48 hours for his ‘India vs Pakistan’ tweet.

The BJP’s campaign for the assembly election has centred mainly on the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, as it looks to consolidate Hindu votes and gain from harder faultlines.

This was reflective in the comments made by union minister Thakur as he lashed out at AAP and Congress, as well as anti-CAA protesters, leading the incendiary chants of ‘Desh ke Gaddaron ko, Goli maaro saalon ko (shoot the traitors)” at a poll rally on Monday.

Parvesh Verma, on the hand, raised the spectre of Shaheen Bagh's anti-CAA protesters “entering homes to rape and kill women”. He also vowed to raze mosques in the Muslim-majority colony.

The remarks had provoked opposition outrage and the action was taken after the Delhi election chief submitted a report on their remarks to the Election Commission.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh, who met with the Election Commission officials on Wednesday, said the party has also demanded to ban Home Minister Amit Shah from campaigning.

"We have demanded EC to ban Amit Shah from campaign in next 48 hours. There should be FIR for fake videos. Fake videos must be deleted from social media," he said. He added that the home minister with his MP's are insulting students, parents and teachers of Delhi.

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