Bengal Polls 2021: TMC lodges complaint with EC accusing Babul Supriyo of defiling Constitution
The Trinamul Congress on Thursday lodged a complaint with Bengal’s chief electoral officer, accusing Union minister of state Babul Supriyo of defiling the Preamble to the Indian Constitution.
Supriyo, who is also the BJP’s Tollygunge candidate, had tweeted a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution on April 14 on the occasion of the 130th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution. The tweet also had a picture of Ambedkar.
According to the complaint, the picture of the Preamble posted by Supriyo “has omitted the words ‘Socialist’, ‘Secular’ and ‘integrity of Nation’ that were inserted in the original Preamble with the 42nd Amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1976”.
“What Supriyo has done is defiling the Constitution. He has taken an oath under the Constitution but after this he should be stripped of his ministerial position and arrested for inciting people to defy the Constitution,” said Trinamul MP and spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Roy
Trinamul has alleged that Supriyo also insulted Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Ambedkar and that such defiling of the Constitution is an offence under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, which is punishable by imprisonment.
“... it seems Supriyo, himself being a member of the parliament and a Union Minister, believes in a Constitution that does not have the words “secular”, “socialist” and “integrity of nation,” the Trinamul complaint reads.
According to experts, the Constitution has been amended for around 130 times in the 71 years since it was adopted on January 26, 1950. In 1976, the 42nd amendment to the Constitution was introduced, which changed the description of India from a “sovereign democratic republic” to a “sovereign, socialist secular democratic republic”, and also changed the words “unity of the nation” to “unity and integrity of the nation”.
The saffron ecosystem, with its idea of India as a Hindu nation, has for long tried to establish that these words were introduced in the Constitution during the Emergency by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However, Roy negated such claims and said that both the Houses of Parliament had adopted these amendments and nothing was forcefully imposed.
“The BJP would say Indira Gandhi had used the Emergency to amend the Constitution, but that isn’t the case…And if they have such problems with these words, they should counter those constitutionally,” Roy said.
Speaking to The Telegraph, constitutional expert and former Supreme Court justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly echoed Roy’s words. “If someone is tweeting a picture of the Constitution or its Preamble, it has to be the full picture. One cannot make a selective post in case of the Constitution. Irrespective of whether the person is a Union minister or an ordinary citizen, he has to follow the Constitution.”
Babul Supriyo said: “I have no reaction or comment to make till I receive a copy of the complaint.”
Sinha repeats taunt
Former state BJP president and candidate for the Habra seat, Rahul Sinha, on Thursday justified his comments on the Sitalkuchi firing.
As the duration of the ban on his campaign expired on Thursday, Sinha told an election rally: “Vivek Dubey has made a clear statement…if the central forces are attacked, the forces will fire again. This means that what I had said, the representative of the Election Commission had said that same thing. I’m saying again, if the central forces are attacked…if people are not allowed to vote…the central forces should fire, doesn’t matter who dies in that…”
The Election Commission had banned Sinha from campaigning for 48 hours for his inflammatory speech. He had said that the central forces should have shot dead eight people, instead of four, at Sitalkuchi.