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BJP's on-the-run Kandhamal candidate plans rally

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 13, 2009 12:48 IST
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After giving a slip to police trying to nab him for his alleged hate speech, BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Orissa's riot-torn Kandhamal Ashok Sahu announced he will hold an election rally in Phulbani on Monday.

Stating that he was planning to hold a massive rally at Phulbani, headquarters of Kandhamal district on Monday, a retired IPS officer said, "Let the police arrest me from the rally if they want. But they should be responsible for the consequence if people react."

"The police held some of my friends in Odagaon area of Nayagarh district on Sunday night and unnecessarily detained them thinking that they will be able to arrest me with the help of my supporters," Sahu told PTI over phone.

Sahu said the police followed their vehicles on the road between Daspalla and Odagaon and held occupants of a jeep after stopping it. The police personnel were under the impression that Sahu was among them.

"But the cops were mistaken. They took my supporters to Odagaon police station and sought their help to capture me," he said, adding that efforts were on to obtain an anticipatory bail from Orissa High Court.

Police raided some places at Raikia and Phulbani on Sunday, but failed to trace Sahu.

The administration had slapped a case against Sahu under Section 125 of The Representation of The People Act, 1951 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with elections) and Section 153 (A) of IPC (promoting enmity between classes).

"Sahu is facing same charges which were used in case of Varun Gandhi," said a senior BJP leader.

Meanwhile, acting tough for his alleged hate speech, Election Commission had on Sunday directed the District Magistrate of Kandhamal to add two more sections -- Section 505 and Section 295 -- under the Indian Penal Code in the criminal case against Sahu.

Taking strong exception to the EC directive, Sahu said the commission had gone out of the way to take stern measures against him.

While Sahu termed the hate case against him as "politically motivated", senior BJP leader Bishwabhushan Harichandan alleged it was part of a conspiracy against party candidates and activists to disturb their campaigning.

According to the FIR lodged at Raikia police station, Sahu allegedly directly accused the minority community for killing Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmananda Saraswati.

"We have audio-recording of Sahu's speech at Raikia meet, which was to be addressed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on April 5," a senior police officer said, adding, the speech had the potential of igniting communal flare up in the riot-hit district.

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