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Book Amit Shah for 'provocative' speech in poll-bound Chhattisgarh: Congress to EC

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday raised strong objections to Home Minister Amit Shah’s ‘provocative’ statement in poll-bound Chhattisgarh regarding the killing of Bhuneshwar Sahu and appealed to the Election Commission to register a case against him.

Sahu, 22, was killed in communal violence in Biranpur village of Bemetara district in April. The BJP has fielded his father, Ishwar Sahu, from the Sajat assembly constituency in the district.

Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh alleged that it is the first responsibility of the Election Commission to take action on such statements which are inflammatory in nature as the model code of conduct in Chhattisgarh is in force.

He also claimed that if the commission fails to take action, there is fear that the BJP will not desist from spreading communalism in its election campaign in Chhattisgarh.

‘The country’s Home Minister Amit Shah has given a very provocative statement in Chhattisgarh. In his election rally, regarding a murder case he directly said, ‘For appeasement and vote bank politics, Bhupesh Baghel government lynched Chhattisgarh’s son Bhuneshwar Sahu. Bharatiya Janata Party has decided that we will bring Sahu’s killers to justice and as a symbol of this, his father Ishwar Sahu has been fielded in the elections’,’ Ramesh said.

‘This statement of Amit Shah is not only objectionable but its sole purpose is to incite communal violence in the peaceful state of Chhattisgarh. The home minister has given this statement with the intention of inciting hysteria for electoral gains. What he has said is absolutely false,’ he said in a post in Hindi on X.

Ramesh claimed that the reality is that in this case of violence and counter-violence, the government had taken prompt action and arrested the accused and sent them to jail.

‘But Amit Shah, frustrated by his apparent defeat in Chhattisgarh, now wants to take the help of communalism. In this matter, now the first responsibility directly lies with the Election Commission, as the code of conduct is in force. It should take cognizance of this inflammatory statement and take appropriate action by registering a case against Amit Shah,’ the Congress leader said.

Shah attacked the Bhupesh Baghel government over communal violence in Biranpur village of Bemetara district in April and asked people whether they wanted Chhattisgarh to become a centre of communal riots again.

He said this at a poll rally in Rajnandgaon ahead of the filing of nomination forms by former chief minister Raman Singh and three other BJP candidates.

Pointing at Ishwar Sahu who was present on the stage, Shah said Bhuneshwar Sahu was lynched for vote bank and appeasement. ‘We will bring the murderer of Bhuneshwar Sahu to justice. We have given a ticket to his father.’

‘Do you want Chhattisgarh to become the centre of communal riots once again? Should Bhuneshwar Sahu get justice or not? If Congress comes to power again, it will continue the politics of appeasement and vote bank,’ he said.

(Published 16 October 2023, 16:14 IST)

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