EC bars Pragya Thakur from campaigning for 72 hours over Babri, Karkare remarks
New Delhi, May 01: The Election Commission (EC) has barred Bharatiya Janata Dal (BJP) Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur from campaigning for three days starting 6 am on 2 May for her remarks on ATS chief Hemant Karkare and the Babri mosque.
Thakur's remark that she is proud of Babri Masjid's demolition was found in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The EC said though Pragya had apologised for her statement against the slain IPS officer, it found the statement to be "unwarranted".
In her response to the show cause notice on Karkare, she had said that the idea was to tell people how she was tortured allegedly at the behest of the Congress-led UPA government. She said she holds the right to tell people what she had gone through. On Babri mosque, she said she had no intentions of creating divide between people and her statement only reflects her inner voice.
The EC found her statements to be "provocative" and having the potential to "spread hatred".
The Commission felt the statements were aimed at securing votes on "religious grounds".
BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur spoke to news agency ANI said Karkare was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack because of her "curse" as he "tortured" her when he probed the Malegaon blast case as chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). She also had said that she was "proud" of her participation in the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1992.
Bhopal will vote in phase 6 of Lok Sabha elections on May 12. Pragya is pitted against Congress leader Digvijay Singh.