Delhi polls 2020: EC orders removal of Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma as BJP’s star campaigners
New Delhi, Jan. 29 (PTI): The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered the removal of BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma from the party’s list of star campaigners for Delhi polls over their controversial remarks.
The order said the two leaders who made objectionable comments while campaigning during election rallies be removed from the list of BJP’s “star campaigners”.
Thakur and Verma can still canvass for the BJP but they will have to bear the campaign expenditures.
A political party bears the expenses of canvassing by star campaigners. But the candidate has to show expenses of organising meetings and rallies by other campaigners in his/her election expenditure accounts.
While political parties have no limit on the amount they can spend for electioneering, candidates can spend a maximum of INR 28 lakh for campaigning in Delhi assembly polls.
“The Election Commission has ordered the removal of Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma from the list of star campaigners of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the NCT of Delhi with immediate effect and until further orders,” an EC press note stated.
Responding to a question during a Cabinet briefing here on the EC order, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said, “I have just got information that EC has issued some direction. We will study and if necessary, present a letter and application.”
He also said if something wrong has been uttered, the BJP will take cognisance as it is a thinking party. “I will speak only after examining the order.”
“But more importantly, the BJP is putting up a balanced campaign with positivity. We are discussing about the development of Delhi.What we will do for Delhi what the Modi government has done for Delhi and the way the state government created hurdles 9in our efforts) … this is our mainstay. Development is the focus of the speeches made by main speakers,” he said.
During an election rally here, Thakur, who is a Union minister, egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan — “shoot the traitors” — after he lashed out at anti-CAA protesters. He was issued a show cause notice on Tuesday.
West Delhi MP Verma on Tuesday said what happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits could happen in Delhi, warning that lakhs of anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh could enter homes to kill and rape women.
Verma was issued a notice by the EC for his remarks on Wednesday.
AAP seeks campaigning ban on Shah
AAP has asked the Election Commission to impose a 48-hour campaigning ban on Union Home Minister Amit Shah for allegedly tweeting a “fake” video on Delhi government schools, party leader Sanjay Singh said on Wednesday.
AAP leaders Singh and Pankaj Gupta complained to the EC against the circulation of the “fake” videos of Delhi government schools by BJP leaders to “falsely defame” Delhiites.
The AAP, in its complaint to the EC, also said BJP MPs – Gautam Gambhir, Parvesh Verma and Hans Raj Hans – made “false and fabricated” videos to put out a wrong picture of Delhi government schools to the people.
The AAP has also sought action against the three BJP MPs.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday had asserted that the videos of alleged deficiencies in the city’s government schools shared by Home Minister Amit Shah were false.
Akali Dal to support BJP
BJP president J P Nadda on Wednesday said that ally Shiromani Akali Dal, which had decided not to contest the Delhi assembly polls over differences with the saffron party, will support his party in the elections.
At a joint press conference with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal, Nadda hailed the party as an old and strong ally, while Badal asserted that their alliance is not merely about politics but also about a bond of sentiments.
Akali Dal’s decision to not contest the polls had triggered concerns in the BJP that it may alienate a section of Sikh voters.
Nadda held a long meeting with Badal before addressing the joint press conference.
Exit poll during voting restricted
New Delhi, Jan. 29 (IANS): The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notification restricting media to conduct or publish any exit poll during assembly elections in Delhi on February 8.
The ban will be on between 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on the poll day in the national capital, the commission said.
“Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section (1) of Section 126 of the Representation of the the Peoples Act, 1951 has notified the period between 8 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. on February 8, 2020 (Saturday) as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020,” the Commission said.
Further, under Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hour, the EC said.