File FIR against BJP’s Kapil Mishra, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer orders city policeUpdated: Jan 24, 2020 21:26 IST
Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh on Friday evening ordered Delhi Police to file a case against Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra after a huge row over his ‘India vs Pak’ tweets that the Election Commission concluded “appeal to communal feelings”.
Ranbir Singh, who is the Election Commission’s point person for the Delhi assembly elections, told the police to register the case under Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act that governs the conduct of elections. Section 123 of this law relates to corrupt practices in elections and bars people from promoting hatred between communities to affect the election.
Kapil Mishra, who was a minister in the outgoing Arvind Kejriwal government before a bitter falling out with Aam Aadmi Party leaders, had crossed over to the BJP and is the party’s candidate from Model Town.
Mishra had triggered a political firestorm yesterday with a string of tweets that compared the February 8 election to a ‘India vs Pakistan’ clash. In his other tweets and public statements that followed, Kapil Mishra had claimed that ‘mini-Pakistans’ were being created in Delhi and alleged that “Pakistani rioters are occupying the roads’.
The Model Town returning officer sent him a show-cause notice for his tweets last evening. As election officials waited for his formal reply, they also sent out a quick message to Twitter to take down his tweet that appeared to be designed to appeal to communal feelings.
Mishra’s explanation - besides claiming that Pakistan’s proxies were likely to be present at Shaheen Bagh, ground zero for protests against the amended citizenship law - also claimed that he was only responding to AAP’s Manish Sisodia.
In his four-page response, Mishra quoted Sisodia saying at an event that he “stands with the protesters of Shaheen Bagh”. Kapil Mishra had offered a similar defence earlier in the day when he alleged that other political leaders such as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were playing the communal card.
“Who is playing the Hindu-Muslim card? Manish Sisodia who says he is with Shaheen Bagh protesters? Priyanka Gandhi who supports those who burned vehicles at Turkman Gate in Delhi? Kejriwal who is distributing Rs 5 lakh to hooligans? Who are giving tickets to people like Amanatullah and Shoaib Iqbal, known for making provocative speeches?” Mishra said in his tweet posted in Hindi.
An AAP leader said the entire controversy around Kapil Mishra’s tweets appeared to be part of the BJP’s strategy where its leadership had focussed on projecting as if only the Muslims were on the streets against changes to the citizenship law.