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Commission bans Giriraj in public rallies

The Election Commission on Tuesday banned senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Bihar additional chief electoral officer R. Laxmanan said separate cases of violation of model code of conduct had been lodged against Giriraj in Patna and Deoghar (Jharkhand).

He said the decision was taken after review of the evidences against the leader, who has been accused of giving inflammatory remarks that those opposing the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan. The commission had been provided with the video footage of his alleged controversial statement.

The commission, in a statement, said a showcause notice has been served on Giriraj asking him to reply by 5pm on April 24. It has directed the police officers of the two states to expedite the probe. It also directed the officials concerned to initiate preventive action against the BJP leader under Sections 107 and 110 and 144 of the CrPC so that he could not influence the investigation.

Referring to the ban on the campaign of Giriraj, the commission said: “No permission should be granted for holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows etc by the district administration authorities of Bihar and Jharkhand, where Giriraj Singh is expected or likely to participate.”

Giriraj, however, defended himself and claimed that the charges were slapped on him despite a reply sent to the Patna district administration’s notice within the stipulated time. “The officials of the Patna district administration didn’t give me any acknowledgement slip for his reply by fax and email. I will defend myself in court,” he added.

He charged the Patna district administration officials with colluding with the JD(U) and claimed that he was framed under a conspiracy hatched by the Nitish Kumar government. He also hit out at JD(U) national president K.C. Tyagi for allegedly “singling” him out for attack over his remarks that critics and opponents of Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan.

“Tyagi is mysteriously maintaining a silence over the controversial remarks of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and JD(U) leader Shakuni Chaudhary, who threatened to eliminate Modi,” he alleged.

On the other hand, former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumari Modi said Narendra Modi distanced himself from Giriraj’s controversial remarks like BJP president Rajnath Singh, spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman and others.