Poll panel defers hearing on BJP CD till Thursday
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Poll panel defers hearing on BJP CD till Thursday

The CD circulated by the BJP ahead of UP polls has drawn severe criticism for its inflammatory contents.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2007 18:03 IST

The Election Commission on Wednesday postponed its hearing on the compact disc (CD) row in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been accused of inciting sectarian passions against Muslims.

The Election Com mission also made it clear that its full panel would hear the case despite the party's demand that Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla - who the BJP wants removed - should not be part of a hearing on the CD.

The issue will be taken up on Thursday.

The BJP had asked the poll panel not to allow Chawla to attend the hearing because there was a Supreme Court notice pending against him.

Party leaders had also said that Chawla would not be a neutral official in the case because of his supposed proximity with the Congress party.

However, the poll panel said Chawla would be present during the hearing.

BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukthar Abbas Naqvi were present to convey the party's views on the controversial CD.

The CD, released last week by Uttar Pradesh BJP leader Lalji Tandon in Lucknow ahead of state assembly elections, has drawn severe criticism for its inflammatory contents.

Non-BJP parties, including the Congress, have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the CD.

The BJP has disowned all responsibility for the disc. Party leaders have admitted that the CD was prepared as campaign material, but said they would have sought the poll panel's clearance before releasing it. But it got released inadvertently, they say.

First Published: Apr 11, 2007 16:00 IST