The Election Commission on Wednesday barred Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhopal candidate and terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur from campaigning for 72 hours starting 6 am on Thursday. Thakur was banned for her remarks about former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare and for expressing pride about her role in the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.
The poll body “strongly condemned” Thakur’s comments and warned her “not to repeat the misconduct in future”.
The Election Commission said that though Thakur – who is out on bail at present in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case – apologised for her statement about Karkare, it found the comments to be unwarranted. The poll panel had issued her a notice last month after she claimed to have cursed Karkare, causing his death in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Karkare had investigated her role in the Malegaon blasts in which six people were killed and 101 were injured.
In her reply, Thakur had told the commission that she did not make any defamatory comments about Karkare. “My statement should be understood not by taking a sentence out of context but by reading it in full,” she had added.
On her comment expressing “extreme pride” at her role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Election Commission noted that the BJP candidate’s explanation was not satisfactory and held her guilty of violating the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.
The panel said Thakur’s comments have the “propensity of spreading hatred among various communities” not remained confined to the constituency where the statement was made.
The poll body had asked the police to file a First Information Report against the BJP leader on on April 22 for the Babri Masjid comment.