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‘Vote for revenge’ remark: EC initiates inquiry, asks for tapes of Amit Shah’s hate speech

After Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi’s aide Amit Shah stirred up a fresh controversy with his revenge remark in the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, the Election Commission has initiated an inquiry and asked for the tapes of Shah in which he made the vitriolic “vote for revenge” statement while meeting the Jat community leaders earlier this week.

BJP’s UP campaign-in-charge Shah reportedly said in a recent election meeting in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar that “this election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats, it is an election for honour and to take revenge for the insult. It is an election to teach a lesson to those who have committed injustice”.

Interestingly, he was accompanied by BJP legislator Suresh Rana, who was an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots in which over 60 people, mostly Muslims, had died, while thousands were rendered homeless.

Former actor Congress leader Raj Babbar slammed Shah and said that his speech reflected the mindset of the party. “It is not a new thing as this is not happening for the first time in the BJP. It reflects the mindset of the party and it is good that all of this is coming out before the elections,” said Babbar.

The BJP on Saturday defended Shah over his remark and said that it saw nothing wrong in what he said, even as the Congress and the AAP had called upon the EC over the “provocative hate speech”. Congress had yesterday moved EC demanding that Shah be arrested and banned from campaigning for his speech in riot affected western UP districts and alleged that Narendra Modi and his aides were attempting to play the “2002 communal game” of Gujarat all over the country.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Shinghvi said that the BJP leader was openly instigating the Jats communities to take revenge and for which he should be booked under law. He termed the speech as a criminal offence.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which also went to the poll panel to seek action against the former Gujarat minister for spreading communal hatred, in a statement said that the EC should immediately register a criminal case against Shah as his inflammatory remarks were aimed at spreading communal hatred.

Defending Shah over his statement, the BJP said that it was not an attempt to polarise the elections and rather dragged in Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi into the controversy over her recent meeting and appeal to the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

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