Kolkata: BJP leader Rahul Sinha was banned today from campaigning for 48 hours in Bengal over his provocative statements but another BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikari, was spared for his communal comments.
The Trinamool Congress had asked for action against Rahul Sinha and the BJP’s Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh for what it called inflammatory remarks on the Cooch Behar firing.
The Trinamool had alleged that BJP leaders were “instigating” violence by warning of more incidents like the one on Saturday, in which four people were killed in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar when central forces opened fire after a mob attacked a polling booth.
Rahul Sinha, the BJP’s candidate in Habra constituency, was quoted as saying at a rally, “Not four, eight people should have been shot dead in Sitalkuchi.”
Banning him till Thursday afternoon, the Election Commission said it strongly condemned his statements and “sternly warned him to be careful from using such statements while making public utterances” during the election.
The Trinamool had also flagged Dilip Ghosh’s speech on Sunday in Baranagar, when he warned of similar incidents if anyone overstepped their limits.
“Naughty boys got bullets at Sitalkuchi. If anyone dares to take the law into his hands, this will happen to him also,” Mr Ghosh was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.
The Election Commission has served notice to Mr Ghosh and has asked him for an explanation by tomorrow.
Suvendu Adhikari was let go with a warning.
Mr Adhikari, a former Trinamool leader who is the BJP candidate against Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram, had referred to her in a speech as “Begum” and had told people that voting for his rival was like voting for a “mini Pakistan”. Mr Adhikari had also urged people to vote for the BJP saying its symbol was the lotus that was used by Hindu deities.
Last evening, Mamata Banerjee was banned from campaigning for 24 hours over her comments on Muslim votes and for allegedly instigating protests against central forces.
The Trinamool said its complaint against Rahul Sinha and Dilip Ghosh went to the Election Commission before its order banning the Chief Minister from campaigning.