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2-min read

FIR Lodged Against Navjot Singh Sidhu For Violating Model Code of Conduct At Bihar Rally

The BJP has also moved the Election Commission, seeking action against Sidhu for allegedly inflaming communal passion. The party demanded that Sidhu be immediately removed from the Congress' list of star campaigners.

PTI

Updated:April 17, 2019, 12:02 AM IST
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Navjot Singh Sidhu
File Image of Navjot Singh Sidhu speaking to CNN-News18.

New Delhi: District authorities in Katihar have lodged an FIR against Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks in which he allegedly warned the Muslim community that efforts were on to divide their votes in Bihar, state chief electoral officer said Tuesday.

"An FIR has been lodged against Sidhu under a section Indian Penal Code and section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act," Bihar CEO H R Srinivasa said.

Section 123 (3) bars promotion of, or attempt to promote, feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community, or language, by a candidate or his agent or any other person.

The BJP on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress after its leader Navjot Singh Sidhu apparently asked Muslims at an election rally in Bihar to unite and oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was in the opposition party's "DNA" to divide people.

At a press conference here, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) played a video of Sidhu's speech at Katihar in Bihar, where the Punjab minister is heard saying minorities in the country are the majority in that area and if they vote unitedly, the Modi government will be "sorted out".

Slamming the Congress, BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It is part of the Congress' DNA to divide. It is not a new norm in this party."

The BJP also moved the Election Commission, seeking action against Sidhu for allegedly inflaming communal passion.

"Mr Sidhu should be immediately removed from the list of star campaigners of the Indian National Congress, and be barred from holding any public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows, interviews, and utterances in the media (electronic and print) in connection with the ongoing elections," said the memorandum sent to the ECI by the BJP.

Prasad also attacked Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for her criticism of the saffron party over its interpretation of nationalism and said she should not be giving lessons in nationalism to the BJP.

"Your Congress encourages 'tukde-tukde gang'. It seeks evidence of soldiers' valour," he alleged, accusing the opposition party of dividing people for vote bank politics.

Is this nationalism, the BJP leader asked.

"We are proud that nationalism, national security and national respect have emerged as a big issue. People of the country will respond. We are very assured to know that because of these comments of opposition leaders, seeking evidence of sacrifices, questioning tough action against terrorism, all these issues have come to the centre stage of this campaign," he said.

Whether it is Sidhu or opposition leaders like Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, they are all speaking on a similar voice, Prasad alleged.

The BJP leader also took strong exception to some Bangladeshi actors campaigning in West Bengal in support of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress and questioned if they had sought permission for this.

The general election is for the citizens of India, he said, adding outsiders may come as observers but if they want to campaign for a party, then they may require permission.

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