Lok Sabha elections 2019: Appoint special observers in mosques to check hate speech: BJP to state poll office
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Delhi unit has written to the state chief electoral officer to appoint special observers in mosques, especially in Muslim-dominated neighbourhoods, to prevent “hate speeches” by political leaders.
The party also accused Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal and other party members of trying to polarise voters along religious and caste lines.
The AAP hit back, saying observers should be appointed at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) shakhas and meetings as well.
In a two-page letter, Neeraj, convener of the Delhi BJP’s legal cell, said, “Kejriwal along with other members of his party will try to polarise the Muslim vote in the name of religion…We request you to appoint special observers for the mosques, especially in Muslim-dominated areas, so that the political and religious parties cannot spread hate among people to influence elections on religious lines.”
AAP said it welcomed all steps by the Election Commission to prevent any communal unrest and that election observers should be appointed. Gopal Rai, AAP’s Delhi unit convener, said, “But observers should be appointed everywhere. They should be appointed to RSS shakhas and meetings as well where communally charged discussions are prevalent. Secondly, this request by BJP also indicates it is back to using its same old tactic of using the Hindu-Muslim card in elections.”
Accusing Kejriwal for polarising voters on religious lines, the BJP shared his tweets and links of his speeches.
“Kejriwal in the recent past has been a centre of many controversies due to the hate speeches he has been giving to incite the sentiments of the minorities. He has been delivering many inflammatory and baseless statements to polarise the votes, especially in Muslim-dominated areas,” the letter said.
The party accused AAP leaders of “hate mongering”. Referring to Okhla Amanatullah Khan’s recent statement when the election schedule was announced, Neeraj wrote, “Khan recently made a speech stating that the Muslim community would not be able to vote in the 2019 elections due to the holy month of Ramzan clashing with the poll schedule.”
Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh, “We have received a letter on these lines. Spreading hate speech with the intention of creating tension in communities is violation of model code. If a specific incident is reported, strict action will be taken after investigation. We have alerted district election officers to keep a close vigil.”