Distancing itself from Varun Gandhi's hate speeches, the BJP today told the Election Commission that his remarks do not represent the views of the party even as it asked the poll panel to check the genuineness of the CD containing the comments.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party categorically states that it completely disagrees, disassociates and disapproves the contents of the CD as sent to us," party leader R Ramakrishna said in his single-page reply to an EC notice.
Even assuming that a speech has been delivered by a member of the party, these contents do not represent the views of the party or its policies, it added.
Election Commission had issued a notice to BJP and Varun Gandhi, the party's candidate from Pilibhit, on the alleged anti-Muslim speeches made by him early this month. However, the party avoided mentioning Varun as an official candidate in the reply.
"Merely because a member of the party has expressed views contrary to what the party stands for, the party cannot be vested with any responsibility," the BJP said, adding "the party is also independently looking into the matter."
While stating that BJP was unaware of the speech by Varun till its contents were telecast by news channels, the letter asked EC to check the authenticity of the CD.
This comes three days after the Election Commission issued a notice to BJP and Varun for alleged violation of model code of conduct. A two-member team headed by A K Mishra, a tehsildar rank officer of the UP Government, handed over the CD at the residence of Varun's mother and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi here, where the BJP candidate stays.
The officials were accompanied by a team from Delhi Police, which did not enter the residential premises. The team was at Gandhi's residence for about half-an-hour.
"We have come here in connection with the CD case. We have handed over a copy of the CD," Mishra said.
Varun's office, when contacted, refused to give any further details. Varun yesterday moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail.
Sources in the UP police said the onus of challenging the contents of the CD lay on Varun.
The EC had on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer to file a case under Indian Penal Code and Representation of the People Act against Varun in connection with his speeches. The High Court issued notices to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments on Varun's plea and listed the matter for further hearing on the question of jurisdiction on March 27. Varun contended that he was being falsely implicated.