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Amit Shah’s ‘taught a lesson’ remark not violative of poll code, say Election Commission sources


NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remark at an election rally in Gujarat that perpetrators of violence were “taught a lesson” in 2002 was not violative of the model code of conduct, Election Commission sources said on Saturday.

After going through the report of the state chief electoral officer and seeking legal opinion, the poll panel concluded that referring to taking action against “miscreants” was not violative of the provisions of the poll code.

A former bureaucrat had moved the poll panel over the statement Shah made at an election rally in Mahudha town of Kheda district last month.

In the rally, Shah had said, “During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society.”

He had claimed that Gujarat witnessed riots in 2002 because the perpetrators became habituated to indulging in violence due to the prolonged support they received from the Congress.

“But after they were taught a lesson in 2002, these elements left that path (of violence). They refrained from indulging in violence from 2002 till 2022. BJP has established permanent peace in Gujarat by taking strict action against those who used to indulge in communal violence,” the Union minister had said.

Parts of Gujarat had witnessed large-scale violence in 2002 following the train burning incident at Godhra railway station in February of that year. (PTI)

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