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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

FIR against Congress’ Navjot Sidhu for asking Muslims to vote en bloc to defeat Modi

The FIR was lodged a day after Congress leader and Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu asked the local majority Muslim population in Katihar to unitedly vote for the Congress candidate.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 17, 2019 09:10 IST
Aditya Nath Jha
Aditya Nath Jha
Hindustan Times, Katihar / Patna
Congress leader and Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses an election rally for Lok Sabha polls, in Katihar, Tuesday.
Congress leader and Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses an election rally for Lok Sabha polls, in Katihar, Tuesday.(PTI)
         

An FIR was lodged against Congress leader and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for violating the model code of conduct by exhorting Muslim voters in a Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar to vote en bloc to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to the office of the chief electoral officer, the FIR was lodged at Barasoi police station of Katihar district on the basis of a complaint lodged by the election commission’s flying squad. SHO Barasoi Chandra Prakash confirmed this. “We have registered an FIR against Sidhu under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 123 (III) and 125 of the IPC,” said the SHO.

The Punjab minister made the remarks while addressing a rally of Katihar Congress candidate Tariq Anwar. “You comprise 64% of the total population in the constituency. If you get united, you can uproot Modi from Delhi,” he said.

Sidhu’s comments drew an angry response from BJP which urged the Election Commission to take “suo motu cognisance” of the “reprehensible act”.

“It is in the Congress’ DNA to divide the people. The party might have once played a role in the freedom movement but now it is known for encouraging ‘tukde tukde gang’ and is seeking evidence of the valour of soldiers,” said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Terming religion a very private relationship between man and his God, a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, in a majority judgment on January 2, 2017, had held that an appeal for votes during elections on the basis of religion, caste, race, community or language, even that of the electorate, will amount to a ‘corrupt practice’ .

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 09:10 IST