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Congress, CPI-M demand action against Varun

March 18, 2009 16:12 IST

Terming Bharatiya Janata party's Lok Sabha candidate Varun Gandhi's alleged communal speeches as contrary to secular democracy, the Congress on Wednesday said that the BJP will be seen as a co-conspirator if it does not take action against him.

Union Minister Kapil Sibal said that when cognisance has been taken by the Election Commission that a prima facie offence has been committed, whether Varun denies it or not is not relevant.

"The leadership of the BJP will take action because if they don't, then it will be seen that they are the co-conspirators in this," he said. Alleging that the speech was aimed at polarising votes, Sibal said, "I am not concerned with the nature and quality of the speech. It is abhorrent, it is contrary to the basic foundations of our secular democracy".

Varun, BJP's candidate from Pilibhit, is in the eye of a storm over his alleged anti-Muslim speeches at a recent rally.

"I don't think people of the country are going to be taken in by whatever the young Varun Gandhi would have to say because the whole country is aware that it is the BJP which practices hate politics," party spokesman Manish Tewari said. Tewari said the Election Commission would not have intervened if it was a political conspiracy.

The Communist Party of India - Marxist today demanded that the Election Commission disqualify Varun from contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Pilibhit as his recent speech in the constituency 'flouted' rules of the country.

"Since the Election Commission has the prima facie evidence, it should move urgently towards disqualification of such a candidate, as per the law and the rules of the country," CPI-M Politburo member Brinda Karat told a news conference in Delhi.

"If the BJP has the slightest respect for the Constitution and parliamentary norms, it should withdraw its candidate," said the CPI-M politburo member after Varun said the video footage was 'doctored' and was a 'political conspiracy' to malign him.

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