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EC to decide on Modi’s speech after report
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 5
The BJP today questioned the locus standi of the Congress in seeking Election Commission’s action against Gujarat Chief Minister Narandra Modi for reportedly justifying the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter.

In another development, the Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy told newspersons in Surat that the EC would take a decision on Modi’s reported speech only after it received the official report from the Surat Collector.

“What is the locus standi of the party (the Congress), which has stooped so low, dubbing a fighter of terrorism (Modi) as ‘maut ka saudagar’ (merchant of death) and their leaders defaming Gujarat and Gujaratis by saying that Gujarat has become a hub of Hindu terrorists and demanding trial of riots case in international court of law,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He was reacting to the Congress’ and other political parties urging the Election Commission to take action against Narendra Modi, who at an election rally in Surat, had reportedly justified the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter.

Asked whether the BJP regretted the remarks made by Modi in the rally, Javadekar said, “He (Modi) was only politically reacting to opponents”.

Meanwhile, the Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy, who is on a visit to Gujarat, told newspersons in Surat that the commission would take a decision on Modi’s reported speech only after the commission received the official report from the Surat Collector.

“I have not yet received a report from the Surat Collector on the speech on Narendra Modi. The news has appeared in the media but we will decide what to do once we read the official report by the Collector,” the CEC was quoted as saying by agencies.

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Modi’s comment on Sohrabuddin
Setalvad files complaint with EC
Tribune News Service

Amreli (Kutch), December 5
Anti-communalism activist Teesta Setalvad has filed a formal complaint with the Election Commission against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi following his yesterday’s speech extolling the controversial encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, Setalvad has urged the EC to take action against Modi for fomenting hatred and violence against Muslims. She also alleged that Modi had violated the Election Code of Conduct with his yesterday’s speech.

“The present Gujarat CM has reportedly used a blatantly communal angle in his speech at Mangrol in south Gujarat on December 4, saying that “Sonia Gandhi spoke of terrorism. But she has no right to talk of this. The Congress in Gujarat is raising its voice on the Sohrabuddin issue. But it should explain what should be done to a man who stored illegal arms? You tell me what should be done?”

“Sir, we believe that this is an open exhortation to violence, an illegal act by a person seeking re-election to a powerful and responsible position in the state. It also amounts to an unconstitutional and unhealthy attitude in a leading politician in a polity. We also believe that this amounts to blatant misuse of religion for political ends is violative of the Election Code of Conduct, since indirectly Modi is only referring to ‘Sohrabuuddin’, a Muslim who was killed, and not of the manner in which his wife Kauserbi, an innocent, was killed as well as Tulsiram Prajapati, Mahendra Kadhav and Ganesh Kunthe were killed (in other incidents of encounters),” Setalvad said in her letter.

“In any case, an illegal act by agents of the state (Modi and his chosen policemen) is illegal regardless of who the victim is and which community he/she hails from. To equate and justify a criminal act with a particular community is nothing short of introducing communal politics in the electoral arena and fomenting hatred against a section of our people,” she added in her letter.

Setalvad stated that Modi’s speech had violated Election Code of Conduct, Rule 1 (2) and 1 (3) in general conduct.

Setalvad also pointed out that Modi’s statement came even after the Gujarat government had in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court admitted to the illegality of the killing of Sohrabuddin.

She also said the affidavit had admitted to the rape and killing of his wife, Kauserbi, and the encounter killing of Tulsiram by policemen.

“It also means that either the state of Gujarat is misleading the apex court, or the CM is so far veering from the truth to make cheap electoral forays,” Setalvad said.

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