30/01/2020 2:58 PM IST

BJP's Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma Banned From Campaigning After Hate Speech

While Thakur has been banned for 72 hour from campaigning in Delhi, the poll body has imposed a ban on Verma for 96 hours.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
File image of Anurag Thakur. 

The Election Commission on Thursday banned BJP leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur from campaigning in the Delhi elections for 72 hours and Parvesh Verma for 96 hours.

This comes after Thakur encouraged incendiary slogans at a rally on Monday.  The Commission had issued a show-cause notice to both on Tuesday, saying prima facie the remarks had the “potential of disturbing communal harmony”.

The poll body also ordered the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to remove Thakur and Verma from the list of star campaigners until further notice.  

On Monday, Thakur shouted “desh ke gaddaron ko” to which the crowd responded, “goli maro saalon ko” (shoot down the traitors). It drew sharp reactions from the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). 

Thakur, however, said he had only asked a question and the crowd responded. 

The same slogan has also been raised by other BJP members, including Kapil Mishra. The BJP has fielded Mishra from Model Town in the upcoming Delhi assembly elections. The Election Commission had also imposed a 48-hour campaigning ban on Mishra on Saturday. EC officials told PTI that the order referred to Mishra’s controversial tweets of 22 and 23 January.

Verma attacked the protests at Shaheen Bagh on Wednesday. “Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think and take a decision. They’ll enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them. There’s time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won’t come to save you tomorrow...” he had told ANI.

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