The Election Commission on Friday directed micro-blogging website Twitter to remove a few controversial tweets of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra describing the Shaheen Bagh protesters and comparing the February 8 Delhi polls with a competition between India and Pakistan.
The order was issued after Delhi Chief Electoral Officer’s office requested the Election Commission to begin the process for removal of Mishra’s tweet.
On Thursday, Kapil Mishra, BJP’s Model Town candidate, had in a tweet said that February 8 polls will be a “match between India and Pakistan”.
He further, in another tweet, went on to describe the Shaheen Bagh protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as “mini Pakistans” being created in Delhi.
“AAP and Congress have created these mini-Pakistans, like the one in Shaheen Bagh. They will get the answer from India on February 8. Whenever seditious people create a Pakistan in India, they will come face-to-face with patriotic Indians,” Mishra ranted.
The tweets have not gone down well with the Election officials as the Returning Officer (RO) for the Model Town Assembly constituency, Banwari Lal, sent him a show-cause notice saying: “It has been observed that there are several news items in the electronic media and social media about your statement on Shaheen Bagh like — ‘Delhi me chote chote Shaheen Bagh Bane’, ‘Shaheen Bagh me Pak ki entry’ and ‘India vs. Pakistan 8th February, Delhi. On February 8, on the streets of Delhi there will be a competition between India and Pakistan’.”
“And, whereas clause 1 (1) of the Model Code of Conduct stipulates as under: No party or candidate shall include in any activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different caste and communities, religious or linguistic.
“And, whereas Section 123 (3A) of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 defines the corrupt practice as under — the promotion of, or attempt to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of caste, religion, race, community or language by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate,” the notice read.
“Therefore, your act is deemed to be a violation of the aforesaid provision of the model code of conduct and the Representation Act and the same is punishable under provisions of law,” the RO said.
“Hence, you are requested to explain as to why action under the provisions of law should not be initiated against you,” the RO said, adding that his reply should reach to the poll panel officer by 12.30 pm on Friday.
Lal also said that if he fails to give his reply or his reply is found unsatisfactory, action against Mishra will be taken without any further notice.
The election for the 70-member Delhi Assembly is on February 8 and counting of votes will take place on February 11.