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BJP Min Anurag Thakur, MP Parvesh Verma ordered off star-campaigner list

BJP Min Anurag Thakur,   MP Parvesh Verma ordered off star-campaigner list

New Delhi: Days after Union Minister Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma made inflammatory comments about the anti-CAA/NRC protesters in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, the Election Commission of India on Wednesday ordered the removal of both the senior saffron party leaders from the BJP's list of star campaigners.

Thakur had on Sunday attended a poll rally in Rithala, where he was seen enthusing a crowd to chant "shoot the traitors". On multiple occasions, Thakur had said, "desh ke gaddaro ko..." and then prompted the crowd to finish the slogan with "goli maaro saalo ko". On the other hand, Verma had on Monday morning said that Shaheen Bagh protesters "will enter your homes, rape and kill your sisters, daughters".

Soon after the comments were made, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer here sought a report from local election officials about the comments and then forwarded it to the Election Commission of India. The poll authority had taken cognizance of the comments and had issued a show-cause notice to both BJP MPs on Tuesday night itself, following which the party was asked to take both of them off their star campaigner list.

However, this does not mean that the two would not be allowed to campaign in Delhi at all. According to the rules, the call to ban them from campaigning will be taken by the ECI after it has heard both of their replies to the show-cause notice, which is to be filed on or before noon today (Thursday).

What this move by the ECI means is that if Verma or Thakur were to campaign for any candidate in Delhi, the candidate would have to pay for the entire event from their poll funds. But since the candidates are not allowed to spend beyond their expenditure limit of Rs 28 lakh (for Delhi), it would not make sense for candidates to opt for the two MPs to campaign for them.

Team MP

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