The returning officer of the Election Commission on Friday issued a showcause notice to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra for his tweets related to the Delhi elections the previous day, reported ANI. Mishra is the BJP candidate from Model Town in North Delhi, and is up against Aam Aadmi Party MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi.
“I received a notice from Election Commission last night, I will give my reply today,” the BJP leader told ANI. “I don’t think I said anything wrong. Speaking truth is not a crime in this country. I spoke the truth. I stand by my statement.”
Mishra had claimed on Thursday that there would be a match between India and Pakistan on the streets of Delhi on February 8. He was referring to the Delhi Assembly elections, the results of which will be out on February 11. In another tweet, with which he shared an article where Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia expressed solidarity with the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors at Shaheen Bagh, Mishra claimed: “Aam Aadmi Party and Congress have created mini-Pakistans like Shaheen Bagh. In response, Hindustan will face them on February 8. Whenever the anti-nationals create a Pakistan in India, the nationalists’ Hindustan will face them.”
The BJP leader lashed out at Sisodia again on Friday for supporting the protestors. “Roads are encroached upon in Shaheen Bagh, people aren’t being allowed to go to schools, offices, hospitals, inciting slogans are being raised,” Mishra told ANI. “The shamelessness with which Manish Sisodia said he stands with Shaheen Bagh means that this is a political movement.”
The showcause notice was issued after the Election Commission of India sought a report from the Delhi chief electoral officer on Mishra’s tweets. In the notice, the returning officer said Mishra’s act violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and asked him to explain why action should not be initiated against him. “Clause 1(1) of the Model Code of Conduct stipulates that no party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religion or linguistic,” read the notice, according to Hindustan Times.
Mishra had added that the Shaheen Bagh protestors have blocked and closed off the road. He alleged that AAP has created a “mini-Pakistan” in Delhi because it failed to do any work in the state over the last five years. Mishra said that the people should not protest because the Citizenship Amendment Act has been passed by both Houses of Parliament. The BJP leader accused the Shaheen Bagh protestors of not accepting the Indian Constitution.
People, mostly women and children, have been protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi for over a month now.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11 and notified by the Centre on January 10, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims, leading to protests against it. At least 26 people died in the protests last month – 19 in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.