The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Himachal Pradesh unit president Satpal Singh Satti for threatening to chop off the hands of anyone who raises a finger at saffron party leaders, particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports said.
Speaking at an election rally in Mandi on Wednesday, Satti attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi without naming him. Satti said, “Wo chowkidar ko is desh ka beimaan bolte hain… Jo hamare baap ko chor bolega usko bhi ham log waese hi bolenge… Saamne neta log baithe hain, agar koi unki oar ungli uthaega, ham log uski baajoo kaat karke uske haath mein pakda denge [He calls the watchman of the entire country, a thief. Whoever calls our father a thief will hear equally derogatory replies from us… BJP leaders are sitting here, if anyone raises a finger at them, we will chop off their hands].”
Satti, however, later claimed that he does not remember making any such comments, reported The Indian Express.
At the Mandi rally, he also spoke against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress veteran Sonia Gandhi. “Jis samay sher ke upar maa baithi hoti hai toh sher kuch nahi kar sakta [when the goddess is riding the lion, the lion cannot do anything],” Satti said in a veiled reference to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Earlier on Wednesday, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee President Kuldeep Singh Rathore said they will file a complaint with the Election Commission. “His [Satti’s] language and statements against Congress are unacceptable,” he told The Indian Express. “He should be barred from campaigning in the entire remaining campaigning season.”
This is not the first time that Satti has made objectionable remarks.
On April 14, Satti had criticised Gandhi for using the phrase “chowkidar chor hai” (watchman is a thief) while referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Rahul Gandhi’s mother is out on bail,” he had said. “He is out on bail. His brother-in-law is [Robert Vadra] out on bail. But no case has been filed against Modi, nor is he out on bail, nor did any judge give him a punishment. Who is Rahul Gandhi to call Modi a thief, like a judge?” He had also allegedly used derogatory words against Rahul Gandhi. A day later, he defended the comments and claimed that he was merely reading from another person’s Facebook post.
On April 16, the Himachal Pradesh Police registered a first information report against Satti for the comments. Later, the Election Commission had banned Satti from holding public rallies for 48 hours. The poll panel had said that the remark was indecent, derogatory and totally uncalled for.