The Election Commission (EC) is going to issue a notice to Malegaon blast accused and BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur over her remarks against police officer Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 terror attack, an officer said on April 20.
Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal on April 18 night, Thakur had claimed that Karkare died during the attacks as she “cursed” him for torturing her. However, after her remarks kicked up a row, she tendered an apology on April 19.
“We took suo motu cognisance of the statement and sought a report from the assistant returning officer (ARO) on the matter. We got the report this morning and we are going to issue notices, which are returnable within 24 hours, to the organiser of the programme and the person who made the statement,” District Election Officer and Bhopal Collector Sudam Khade told PTI. “We are going to send the ARO report to the EC,” he said. Khade said that the organiser of the event had been given permission on certain conditions as the model code of conduct was in force.
According to another EC official, as per the conditions set before giving permission to the event, use of objectionable language to defame a particular person had been prohibited. Out on bail, Thakur (48) has been discharged by a court on charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the 2008 case, but is still facing trial under other criminal provisions, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The BJP on Wednesday fielded her from the Bhopal seat, where she is set to have a direct contest with Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh. Her statement against Karkare raised a political storm Friday with opposition parties attacking the BJP and the Congress demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the saffron party distanced itself from her comments, saying it was her “personal view” which she might have made “due to years of physical and mental torture”.