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Hans Raj Hans, Follower of Casteless Islam, Can't Fight from Reserved Seat: EC Pulls Up Kejriwal for New Claim

Kejriwal along with minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and AAP candidate Gugan Singh have to send their replies by Saturday 5 pm.

PTI

Updated:May 3, 2019, 10:44 PM IST
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Hans Raj Hans, Follower of Casteless Islam, Can't Fight from Reserved Seat: EC Pulls Up Kejriwal for New Claim
File photo of Hans Raj Hans

New Delhi: The Delhi Chief Electoral Officer has sought the reply of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for accusing BJP's northwest Delhi candidate, Hans Raj Hans, of converting to Islam in 2014 and claiming he cannot contest the election as the seat is reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) category, officials said Friday.

Kejriwal along with minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and AAP candidate Gugan Singh have to send their replies by Saturday 5 pm. A report will be prepared and forwarded to the Election Commission, they said.

Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and Hans Friday filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi against the AAP leaders, following which the poll body sought replies from Kejriwal, Gautam and Singh, who is pitted against Hans for the reserved seat, the officials said.

Reacting to the notice, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said it was widely reported in media that Hans converted to Islam. "It is a clear law that after conversion to Islam, a person cannot take benefits of caste-based reservation. Islam does not acknowledge any caste system, so Hans Raj Hans cannot contest from a seat which is reserved for SC community. This is not just personal manipulation, but also amounts to depriving the SC community of its constitutional rights," he said.

In a tweet on Thursday, Kejriwal claimed Hans would be declared ineligible to contest the polls, and urged the voters of North West Delhi not to waste their votes on him.

At a press conference the same day, Gautam cited news reports claiming Hans had converted to Islam and that the BJP candidate did not disclose this information in his nomination papers.

The BJP candidate, however, denied the charge and said he would have been disowned by his family had he changed his religion. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied ticket to Udit Raj, the sitting MP from North West Delhi, and fielded Hans from the seat. Raj joined the Congress subsequently.

Hans is pitted against Rajesh Lilothia of the Congress and Gugan Singh of the AAP from the seat. Polling for all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12 and the results will be announced on May 23.

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