A day after the Election Commission of India (ECI) had shot a letter to BJP president J P Nadda on allegations of poll code violations by the party’s star campaigners and asked the party to refrain from any activity which could cause communal tension, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 23 indulged in his usual communal diatribes while targeting Muslims in an election rally in Haryana.

The ECI, which has faced severe public criticism for failing to act against poll code violations by the BJP, issued a directive to Nadda on May 22 addressing allegations against the party’s ‘star campaigners’. In the six-page notice, the ECI quoted some of the communal statements by BJP leaders flagged by Congress in their representation to the poll panel. One of them was from a speech by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on April 26 at a public meeting at Sambhal, UP (Screenshot from EC notice below). This meeting was held just a day after ECI’s first notice to J P Nadda.

Referring to their previous notice issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Banswara, Rajasthan, on April 21, the ECI mentioned in the May 22 communication to the BJP that the party had not taken cognisance of the earlier notice as a “red flag for future conducts” and instead continuously made “statements alleged to be violative of MCC”.

The poll body also observed that statements made by the ‘star campaigners’ of the BJP followed patterns and created narratives “that can be damaging beyond the MCC period”. Further, right at the end of the notice, the Commission directed the party to refrain from any activity which caused tension between different “castes, and communities, religious or linguistic” as per the MCC and to not give out statements that might divide society.

A day after the directive was issued, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, Haryana on May 23. The communication to the BJP president seemed to have made little impact as the Prime Minister launched a tirade against Muslims in his speech, as he has been doing in his campaign speeches. At Bhiwani, PM Modi repeatedly addressed the INDIA bloc as Indi ‘Jamaat’. This is a subtle dig consistent with the BJP’s constant suggestion that Congress’s poll promises are all about Muslim appeasement. The PM also indulged in fearmongering by reiterating that Congress would introduce reservations for Muslims by snatching away the SC, ST and OBC quotas. He alleged that the Congress party would not allow the people of Haryana to utter the name of the Hindu deity Ram and those who did so would be arrested. He also used the term ‘ghuspethiyon‘ in his speech.

Excerpts from PM Modi’s Speech at Bhiwani, Haryana

20:00: “The people of the country have already seen through the intentions of the Indi Jamaat. The Indi Jamaat has been exposed within just five phases. You must have seen that they started whining by the third phase. They ask questions like ‘Why is the EC so late in releasing the numbers? Why are the EVMs not working? etc’ They just want to blame their defeat on something.”

22:59: “Congress and the INDI-waalon have a big vote bank in the country. These people divided the country for their vote bank politics. One Bharat and two Muslim countries. Now the INDI people are claiming that the resources of the country that remains after the partition should also go to the Muslims. These people will snatch the reservation constitutionally meant for the SCs, STs, OBCs and give it to the ones who do Vote Jihad.”

24:27: “In Bengal too, the conspiracy of the INDI jamaat against SC, ST, and OBC, and their anti-reservation mentality, has been exposed. Overnight, they gave OBC certificates to Muslims. The reservations that OBCs deserve were distributed among Muslims and ghuspethiyon. The Bengal HC have abolished all the OBC certificates given to Muslims over the last 10-12 years. What would have happened if there were no certificates? What would the disadvantaged groups do? What would my Dalit and Adivasi brothers and sisters do? But friends, look at the mentality of this INDI Jamaat. The Bengal CM has announced that she will not follow the HC orders. She would give Muslims the OBC reservation. Be it Congress, or the TMC, this INDI Alliance is in solidarity with their solidarity. But who is going to stand with Haryana? That is why I want to assure every SC, ST, OBC person in Haryana- no mai ka laal can snatch away the reservations of any Dalit, Adivasi or disadvantaged group.”

28:00: “In Haryana, everyone says Ram Ram at least 200-400 times. One will say Ram Ram after every ten steps. Without Ram Ram, nothing gets done in Haryana. But if Congress comes into power, anyone who utters Lord Ram’s name would be arrested. Congress wants to remove Ram from the country. As long as Congress was in power, they opposed the construction of the Ram Mandir. Congress has even boycotted the consecration ceremony. Now the Congress Shehzada’s advisor has revealed a major thing: If Congress comes to power, they want to lock the Ram Mandir. They don’t want Haryana’s people to see Ram Lalla. They want to send Ram Lalla back to the tent. Will the people of Haryana allow this? Will they disrespect Ram Lalla like this again?”

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