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Modi speech to have 'lasting consequences, will influence elections on communal lines'

Counterview Deak 

The civil rights groups, People’s Union for Civil Liberties and  Rajasthan Election Watch*, in a complaint filed with the CEO, Election Commission of India, Rajasthan, demanding action against what it called the Banswara hate speech of Narendra Modi, star BJP campaigner, has said that Modi not only lies but sought to promote hate and enmity on the grounds of religion and community with the intention of procuring votes from the citizens on communal lines.
Stating that an individual complaint has also been filed for registering an FIR with Jaipur Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph, the letter apprehended, since the speech was covered in the media, "it is bound to have serious and lasting consequences, apart from influencing the elections on divisive and communal lines."

Text: 

The Rajasthan Election Watch and the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), late in the evening on Monday, 22nd April, 2024 filed a complaint with the Chief Election Officer of the state seeking immediate and strict action against Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and several other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for making a communal hate speech in Banswara, Rajasthan, on April 21, 2024, and violating the Model Code of Conduct and Sections 123(3) and (3A), 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Kavita Srivastava from the PUCL and Mukesh Goswami from the Rajasthan election watch met the CEO OSD, Mr Suresh Chand, RAS, who received our application.
It was argued that the content of the hate speech made by Shri Narendra Modi is not only false but is calculated to promote hate and enmity on the grounds of religion and community, disharmony and feelings of enmity, hatred, or ill will between different religious groups and communities. Moreover, the speech has been made at an election rally to procure votes from the citizens on communal lines.
It was also added that the speech clearly constitutes acts prejudicial to the maintenance of peace and harmony between different religious groups in Rajasthan and in the country as a whole. Similarly, it should also be noted that the speech of Shri Narendra Modi constitutes deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings and adding insults or attempting to insult the religion and the religious beliefs. In a way, Shri Modi’s speech is instigating Hindus against the Muslims by calling them ‘infiltrators’.
  • Therefore it was urged that action be initiated under the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 against Shri Narendra Modi and the BJP candidates Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya and Dr. Manna Lal Rawat, for the hate speech made at the Vijay Shankhnaad Sabha held on April 21, 2024 in Banswara, Rajasthan.
  • They also urged that urged that cognisance be taken of the violation under Sections 123(3), 123(3A), and Section 125 of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 and Rules 1 and 3 of the Model Code of Conduct and initiate strict action including but not limited to disqualifying Shri Narendra Modi and the candidates Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya and Dr. Manna Lal Rawat and issuing prohibitory orders against their campaign.
  • Criminal action was also demanded against the organisers of the Sabha, CP Joshi, the State BJP President and other members of the BJP who were present or involved in the meeting.

Filing a complaint registering a case against Narendra Modi In Jaipur

A complaint was lodged with the Jaipur Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph in this regard by Kavita Srivastava and Bhanwar Meghwanshi regarding the hate speech made in Banswara on April 21st by Shri Narendra Modi, star BJP campaigner.
Criminal action was also demanded against the organisers of the Sabha, CP Joshi, the State BJP President and other members of the BJP
The police commissioner showed his reluctance in registering an FIR giving the argument that it had no jurisdiction over an alleged crime that occurred in Banswara. We urged that a zero number FIR could be lodged and also it was pointed out that Sections of 153 (A), 295 (A) and 505 IPC, require no jurisdiction. The Police Commissioner however, did agree to forward the FIR to the Banswara SP.
According to the complaint, made by the two, the Prime Minister was campaigning in Banswara for BJP candidates Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya and Dr Manna Lal Rawat and the content of his public address at the Vijay Shankhnaad Sabha there was not only false, but was deliberately made to promote hate and enmity on the grounds of religion. It instigated Hindus against the Muslims by calling the latter ‘infiltrators’ and alleging that the Congress was planning to seize the property and assets of Hindus and distribute it among the Muslims. In his speech, Modi incited the public by prodding them with questions like “whether such an act of extorting gold and taking away the mangal sutra of women (Hindu) would be acceptable to them?” He repeatedly said that he had come to inform them, when he actually implied that he had come to warn them of the dire consequences in case his party does not come to power.
The complaint says that the hate speech has been widely circulated and covered in the media, and having been made from the highest office of the nation, it is bound to have serious and lasting consequences, apart from influencing the elections on divisive and communal lines. Hence it urges for concrete measures to ensure no repeat of any such attempts by any party in the future.
The PUCL and Rajasthan Election Watch will pursue the matter with the ECI and similarly the FIR will also be pursued by the complainants.
---
*PUCL: Kavita Srivastava, V Suresh, Bhanwar Meghwanshi and Anant Bhatnagar; Rajasthan Election Watch: Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Mukesh Goswami, Kamal Tak, Sarfaraz Sheikh

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