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UTTAR PRADESH

EC FIR against BJP for anti-Muslim CD

Friday 6 April 2007

Express news service

New Delhi, Lucknow, April 5: Cracking down on the BJP for producing and distributing an inflammatory anti-Muslim election CD, the Election Commission (EC) today directed that an FIR be filed against BJP president Rajnath Singh and senior Uttar Pradesh party leader Lalji Tandon, who allegedly released the CD.

Subsequently, an FIR was filed at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow against the party’s office-bearers who were present at the release of the CD.

The EC also issued a showcause notice to the BJP asking why action should not be taken against it under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 for releasing the CD containing “inflammatory campaign material, derogatory to the sentiments of a certain community”.

Rajnath Singh has been asked to file his reply by 5 pm tomorrow, failing which the Commission will proceed to take appropriate action.

Meanwhile, UP BJP president Kesri Nath Tripathi today admitted that the party had suggested the central theme of the CD, but added that the production had been handed over to a Saharanpur-based company. He emphasised that the party’s senior leaders had not cleared the contents.

Addressing a press conference, he said: “There is no question of spreading communal hatred and hurting sentiments as the CD has not been distributed among the public.” However, he said necessary action would be taken against those responsible.

Earlier in the day, former Prime Minister V P Singh met the Commission and sought de-recognition of the party for “spreading poison” against communities through the CD. The EC’s action comes a day after the BJP “withheld” the CD following criticism over some references to the Muslim community.

The CD was brought out by the state unit in Lucknow, apparently as part of the party’s high-pitched Hindutva campaign for the Assembly polls.

See online : The Indian Express

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