EC censures Amit Shah, Azam Khan, warns Beni Prasad

New Delhi, April 16: The Election Commission Wednesday censured BJP leader Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for their alleged hate speeches during the Lok Sabha election campaign.

The poll panel also conveyed its displeasure over remarks by Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma concerning Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh at a speech at Balrampur and warned him against repeating such remarks.

In separate orders on replies furnished by Amit Shah and Azam Khan to its notice, the commission said it has seen the videos of the impugned speeches and was convinced that they had made “highly provocative speeches which have the impact of aggravating existing differences or create mutual hatred between different communities”.

The commission said the speeches made by Shah and Khan violated the model code of conduct and termed it as “misconduct”.

“The commission, without prejudice to any other order/notice issued or to be issued in the matter relating to model code violation to him, hereby condemns the impugned statements made by him during election meetings at Shamli, Bijnore and Muzaffarnagar and censures Amit Shah of the BJP of the above misconduct,” the panel said in its order concerning Shah.

It made similar remarks about Khan.

In its order concerning Verma, the poll panel said he made a provocative speech using “intemperate/abusive language” and violated the poll code.

“The commission conveys its displeasure over the statement made by him during the election meeting held at Balrampur for the said misconduct and warns him not to repeat in future,” it said.

The Election Commission had last week banned Shah and Khan from holding any public meetings or road shows in the state.

The poll panel has also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to lodge FIRs against Shah and Khan for making hate speeches during the election campaigns.

While Shah, a close aide of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, asked voters to cast their ballot and take revenge for the Muzaffarnagar riots, Khan said Muslim soldiers were to be credited for India’s victory in the Kargil war.

The poll panel pulled up the state government for not acting with “required alacrity” against the two leaders.

Sources said a case has been registered against Verma in Balrampur for allegedly calling Modi the “biggest goonda” of RSS and party president Rajnath Singh his “slave”.