BJP dividing people in UP on communal lines: Congress MP

Accusing the BJP of dividing people on communal lines, Venugopal, urged the Election Commission of India to take action against the MP from Unnao and the BJP.

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Kochi, Jan 8: Congress leader KC Venugopal today said the controversial remarks made by BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, was against the recent Supreme Court judgement banning seeking votes in the name of religion.

BJP dividing people in UP on communal lines: Congress MP

Accusing the BJP of dividing people on communal lines, Venugopal, who is also Congress Deputy Chief Whip in Lok Sabha, urged the Election Commission of India to take action against the MP from Unnao and the BJP. He alleged that Maharaj's statement was part of saffron force's "political game" in Uttar Pradesh, which goes to polls. A day after the BJP distanced itself from Maharaj's statement, Venugopal alleged that it was a "double speak" being practiced by Amit Shah-led party and if they had belief in an element of ethics in their politics, Sakshi Maharaj would have been out of the party by now.

"They (BJP) will say that they are committed for inclusive growth of the country. But in reality.... You can see contradiction in what they preach and practice. They sow seeds of hatred in the minds of people during elections and divide them for polarising votes," he said here.

Citing the Apex Court verdict holding that elections to the state legislatures or the Parliament must be secular and any appeal in the name of religion, caste, community and language, is impermissible under the Representation of People Act, 1951, Venugopal said action should be taken against Sakshi Maharaj and the BJP for violating the Model Code of Conduct and the Court order.

"It is a violation of Model Code of Conduct. It should be dealt with firmly and effectively to ensure a free and fair poll in Uttar Pradesh," he said. "Strong action should be taken against all persons and parties violating the law," he added.

Maharaj was yesterday booked for allegedly hurting religious feelings after he indirectly blamed Muslims for the population growth in the country that sparked a controversy, days after Supreme Court outlawed seeking votes in the name of religion or caste.

PTI

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