Anurag Thakur faces Opposition ire over hate speech during Delhi poll campaign | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Anurag Thakur faces Opposition ire over hate speech during Delhi poll campaign

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Sep 24, 2020 12:11 PM IST

The Election Commission of India had imposed a 72-hour ban on Thakur and put him off the star campaigner list of the BJP. after his controversial speech.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur faced Opposition ire as he rose to speak during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament on Monday.

Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha. (ANI photo)
Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha. (ANI photo)

As the proceedings began in the Lok Sabha, BJP MP from Rajasthan’s Dausa Jaskaur Meena sought answer from the government about the steps being taken for the welfare in Parliament. As Thakur, the Minister of State for finance, stood up, the Opposition MPs raised their voices and started shouting ‘Goli maarna band karo (stop shooting people)’ and ‘Bhadkau bhashan band karo (stop inflammatory speeches)’.

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The House was adjourned till 1:30 pm following Opposition ruckus.

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Thakur is a Member of Parliament from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.

Campaigning for his party for Delhi Assembly elections in Rithala last month, Thakur had chanted a provocative slogan: “Desh ke Gaddaron ko, goli maaron saalon ko”. The rough English translation is “shoot the traitors”.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had imposed a 72-hour ban on him and put him off the star campaigner list of the BJP.

The ECI felt Thakur violated the model code of conduct and the Representatives of People’s Act - the election law - by making controversial statement, which political rivals allege, are divisive and communally rhetoric.

In his explanation, Thakur had told the ECI that the slogan attributed to him was never uttered by the Union minister and that there was no intention on his part to “create or promote enmity between religious groups, caste or community”. It was the crowd that responded with the remark “goli maron saalon ko” to his slogan “Desh ke gaddaro ko...”, “which literally means the traitor of the country,” he said.

Rejecting the response, ECI concluded that Thakur made “undesirable and objectionable statements, which has the tone and tenor to aggravate differences or create mutual hatred between different religious groups”.

The the fraught situation in Delhi ahead of the Assembly elections on February 8, the Opposition leaders had said that such provocative speeches resulted in incidents like firing at protesters near Jamia Millia Islamia University last week, who were demonstrating against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.

The incident took place as hundreds of students were gathering for a march to Raj Ghat on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (on January 30) as part of an anti-CAA protest. At around 1.30 pm, multiple eyewitnesses said that the teenager was spotted walking towards the students, brandishing a gold-coloured countrymade pistol and shouting provocative slogans. He also fired a shot, injuring a Jamia student.

The minor attacker appeared before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), which sent the 17-year-old to 28-day protective custody on Friday.

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