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EC holds Varun Gandhi guilty of spreading hatred

By Delhi Bureau
Last updated on: March 23, 2009 10:18 IST
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The Election Commission on Sunday has declared Varun Gandhi guilty of spreading hatred against a community.

The short order passed by the Election commission said that Gandhi was guilty was guilty and asked the political parties not to nominate such elemements as candidates.

The Commission considered the speeches as a grave violation of the Model Code of Conduct, apart from amounting to promoting feelings of enmity and hatred between different classes on the ground of religion, outraging the religious feeling of a particular community, and promoting hatred and ill-will between two classes of citizens and provoking a section of the citizens to indulge in violence.

The Commission said it is not at all convinced with the explanation which Gandhi has tried to take recourse to for wriggling out of the situation which he has created by making the inflammatory and highly derogatory speeches. "The main plank of his defence is that the CD containing the recording of his impugned speeches is morphed and doctored so as to politically malign him. The Commission is far from convinced with such bald assertions," the order said.

The Commission said he has not denied anywhere in his explanation that he held the meetings covered and recorded in the CD and that he addressed the audience at those meetings and made speeches there at. The Commission said it has seen the CD, not once but several times repeatedly, and is fully convinced and satisfied that the CD has not been tampered with, doctored or morphed, as alleged by Gandhi.

The copy of the CD in question was duly furnished to him with the Commission's notice and the onus lay on him to prove his allegation that the CD is not genuine or authentic as is alleged by him, the order said.

Varun Gandhi is likely to go ahead and contest the forthcoming elections despite the EC order. Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Balbir Punj said that the party would not stand  by Varun Gandhi if he had made those statement.

The Bharatiya Janata Party may ask Varun not to contest from Pilibhit.

A few years ago the Supreme Court has disenfrenchised and prevented Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray  from contesting elections for making similar statements.

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Delhi Bureau