Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Anurag Thakur’s anti-Muslim speech; Congress seeks Election Commission action

The Congress on Saturday complained to the Election Commission against Union minister and BJP leader Anurag Thakur, alleging that his “outrageous speech” made at an elections rally violated the Model Code of Conduct.

Thakur, who is often accused of delivering hate speeches against Muslims, had claimed at a rally in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur that the Congress was working with a “foreign hand” to give people’s property to Muslims instead of their children.

“A foreign hand seems to be behind the Congress hand [party’s election symbol], which wants to hand over your child’s wealth to Muslims and want to finish the country’s nuclear weapons and wants to divide the country on caste and religious basis,” Thakur said.

On Saturday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the party has urged the poll panel to take note of Thakur’s remarks and issue him a notice.

“Anurag Thakur followed in the footsteps of the PM [Prime Minister Narendra Modi] and the UP [Uttar Pradesh] Chief Minister [Adityanath] and made a most outrageous speech that violates all standards of decency and truth, apart from the EC’s Model Code of Conduct itself,” Ramesh said.

The Election Commission must realise that a lack of meaningful action “emboldens these bad faith actions”, the Congress leader said. “And if they [Election Commission] do not take action then we will name and shame these offenders who think they are above the law, both in the arena of the public as well as before the courts,” he added.

Earlier, Modi, Prime Minister and BJP’s star campaigner, in a reference to the Muslim community, had delivered a hate speech at an election rally in Rajasthan on April 21 that the Congress would distribute citizens’ property among “infiltrators” and “those who have more children” if voted to power.

The prime minister had claimed: “When the Congress-led government was in power, they had said that Muslims have the first right over the country’s assets. This means that they will distribute wealth to those who have more children and those who are infiltrators. Is this acceptable to you?”

The Opposition parties, activists and leaders from minority communities and national and global rights bodies had denounced Modi’s remarks and termed it hate speech.

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