The Election Commission of India (ECI,) on the 21st of April, issued a notice to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the Member of Parliament (MP) candidate from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC.)
The MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the ECI, which every politician has to follow during the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in India.
The MCC comes into force after the ECI announces the dates of the elections and continues until the results of the elections are announced.
Pragya Singh Thakur is the member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the notice issued to Sadhvi Pragya, she violated the MCC by making a controversial remark regarding the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Ms. Thakur, a self proclaimed Sadhvi, during an interview, said, “We removed a blot from the Country. We went to demolish the structure. I feel extremely proud that God gave me this opportunity and I could do that. We will make sure a Ram temple is constructed at that site.”
On the 6th of December 1992, a few members of the Hindu Kar Sevak demolished the Babri Masjid and demanded Ram Mandir be built there.
The Babri Masjid was situated in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, which is said to be the janmabhoomi (birthplace) of Lord Ram.
The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute is a long standing issue in Ayodhya. The Babri Masjid was torn down by Hindu extremists who believed Ram was born in the exact same spot where the Masjid was built. Now, both Hindus and Muslims are having issues regarding the same piece of land.
This is not the first time Sadhvi Pragya made such a remark. Recently, Ms. Thakur targeted late Hemant Karkare, the Chief of the Anti Terror Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra and said, he died due to her curse.
Mr. Karkare died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2008 when he was fighting against terrorists.
Pragya Singh Thakur is one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast. According to the allegations against her, Ms. Thakur helped the terrorists who carried out the attack.
The BJP also faced a lot of criticism for nominating Ms. Thakur, who is accused of being responsible for the loss of innocent lives in the Malegaon attack.
However, the BJP denied all the allegations against Pragya and said, it was a conspiracy against her. The Party also defended their action of nominating her and said, the decision was taken to prove every rich Hindu is not a terrorist.
The ECI, on the 20th of April, also issued a notice to Ms. Pragya for her derogatory comments against late Hemant Karkare.
The second ECI notice was issued after the Babri Masjid comments. The Election Commission asked Ms. Thakur to respond with an explanation regarding her comments by the 22nd of April.
Stay tuned for further updates about the story.