BJP Asks EC to Appoint Special Observers in Mosques to Curb Hate Speech, AAP Hits Back

File image of BJP flag. (Image: AFP)

File image of BJP flag. (Image: AFP)

The ruling party has said 'innocent members' of the community were at risk of being influenced in the holy month of Ramzan through speeches which may influence the elections and the choice of candidates among Muslim voters.

Debayan Roy
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: March 16, 2019, 10:49 PM IST
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New Delhi: With the 17th Lok Sabha Elections in Delhi roughly a month away, BJP’s Delhi unit has written to the Election Commission to appoint special observers in mosques to prevent religion from influencing electoral outcomes.

The BJP has squarely blamed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for polarising the voters on religious and caste lines and has stated that it is the Delhi chief minister who has been “delivering many inflammatory and baseless statements to polarise votes, especially in Muslim dominant areas.”

The ruling party has said “innocent members” of the community were at risk of being influenced in the holy month of Ramzan through speeches which may influence the elections and the choice of candidates among Muslim voters.

“Many a times such informative speeches are known to be delivered near or in mosques where innocent members of the minority community gather to offer their daily prayers which makes them a soft target for this hate mongering speech. During the holy month of Ramzan, there is a high possibility of politics of religion being indulged in to provoke the Muslim and minority,” read the BJP letter, adding that “these kind of conduct goes highly unnoticed and unchecked as the speeches are often delivered behind the curtains in this holy places.”

However, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party hit back at the BJP saying special observers should also be appointed at RSS shakhas.

“We would welcome all steps by the Election Commission to prevent any communal unrest. However, observers should be appointed at RSS shakhas and meetings where communally charged discussions are prevalent,” said AAP.

According to a recent Supreme Court verdict, a candidate cannot invoke religion or caste of the voters to influence electoral outcomes, and hence, the BJP has now requested that “if any violation takes place, then based on the report of the special observer the election commission can take immediate cognizance and actions and the various provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act and Indian Penal Code 1860 to prevent the atmosphere of free and fair elections being vitiated by the poison being spread by such persons.”

The letter, which has been addressed by the legal department of the Delhi Pradesh of BJP, said Kejriwal and other party members regularly involved in speeches which “polarise” the voters.

“Kejriwal recently tweeted ‘Vivek Tiwari to Hindu tha fir isko unho ne kyu mara?’ In another statement in one of his speeches, in Badarpur Delhi, he gave a statement which roused the sentiments of the Muslim community. In another incident, in a speech in Jama Masjid, Delhi, Kejriwal is trying to incite people in the name of caste and religion for election purposes,” reads the letter.

The BJP also pointed fingers at other AAP leaders with a similar allegation.

“Other member of the party are also known to be regularly engaged in hate mongering. Amanatullah Khan recently made a speech stating that the Muslim community would not be able to vote in the 2019 elections due to the holy month of Ramzan clashing with the polls schedule,” the letter read.

The BJP has now requested that special observers needed to be appointed in the mosques, especially in Muslim-dominated areas.

“We request you to appoint special observers for the mosques especially in the Muslim-dominated areas so that political and religious leaders cannot spread hate among people to influence elections on the lines of religion and the MCC is not violated by the members of the political party or any other religious leader,” the BJP statement read.

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