The Election Commission’s asking the BJP leadership on Wednesday to drop Union minister Anurag Thakur and party MP Pravesh Varma from the list of “star campaigners” drew sharp reaction from the Opposition camp in the state.
Both the “star campaigners” of BJP had drawn criticism after making derogatory remarks about the participants of the Shaheen Bagh protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act during the ongoing campaign for the Delhi elections. The Trinamul Congress leadership also chose to fire broadsides at BJP state president, Dilip Ghosh for his comments about the Shaheen Bagh protestors.
The EC’s asking BJP to drop Union minister Anurag Thakur and a party MP Pravesh Varma from the list of star campiageners was described as “too mild a step” by CPI-M Polit Bureau member, Md Selim on Wednesday. Asking for a person’s removal from the “star campaigners list” is mere “shifting of accounts books,” according to the former MP. After all, neither of the two have been barred from campaigning in the Delhi Assembly election, he said.
A “star campaigners” election expenses are borne by the party, Selim said. Other campaigners poll expenses are defrayed by the candidate, leaving the duo with the scope of spewing venom during the rest of the campaign, he felt. If the powers that be in the Union government had any shame, the minister should have been dropped from the Cabinet for whipping up communal disharmony, the PB member felt. After all, this is still a secular nation, he said.
The Election Commission’s decision is a step in the right direction, former PCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya felt. The commission’s decision will help keep alive the democratic ethos of our country and nurture the spirit of protest which is part and parcel of democracy, he said.
Trinamul Congress secretary-general, Partha Chatterjee, on Wednesday slammed the BJP state president Dilip Ghosh for making insensitive remarks on the Saheen Bagh protesters. He termed Ghosh’s remarks “barbaric” and “uncultured” and said even animals would have been better in many ways than Ghosh.