The Election Commission of India has imposed a 48-hour ban on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician Kapil Mishra, contesting from Delhi’s Model town constituency, for making a controversial remark amid the upcoming assembly elections in the capital.
A poll official said the campaign ban on Mishra will be applicable for 48 hours beginning Saturday at 5 p.m. local time. “It is a violation of the model code of conduct", said the official.
According to media reports, Twitter said it had withdrawn one of his posts at the behest of the Election Commission, where Mishra likened the forthcoming Delhi elections to a contest between India and Pakistan. The post, however, can still be seen on the platform.
Mishra's tweet, which was construed by the commission as one stoking communal sentiments, read: “India vs Pakistan 8th February Delhi. There will be a contest on Delhi Roads between India and Pakistan on February 8”.
𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗮— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) January 23, 2020
8 फरवरी को दिल्ली की सड़कों पर हिंदुस्तान और पाकिस्तान का मुकाबला होगा
In a different tweet, he lashed out at anti-Citizenship law protesters, who, he claimed, were sponsored by Pakistan, and adding that "several mini Pakistans" were being created in Delhi.
“AAP [Aam Aadmi Party] and Congress have created these mini-Pakistans, like the one in Shaheen Bagh. They will get the answer from India on 8 February. Whenever seditious people create a Pakistan in India, they will come face-to-face with patriotic Indians”.
पाकिस्तान की एंट्री शाहीन बाग में हो चुकी हैं— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) January 23, 2020
दिल्ली में छोटे छोटे पाकिस्तान बनाये जा रहे हैं
शाहीन बाग, चांद बाग, इंद्रलोक में देश का कानून नहीं माना जा रहा
पाकिस्तानी दंगाइयों का दिल्ली की सड़को पर कब्जा हैं https://t.co/jcq1PgzXb7
The tweet came at a time when the city has witnessed many protests by the Muslim community accusing the central government of discriminating against them through a new citizenship law, which allows only non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh to obtain Indian citizenship if they face persecution at home and arrived in India before 2015.
Mishra, who joined the BJP last August, was removed as minister by Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in 2017. A year later, he was also disqualified as a AAP lawmaker under the anti-defection law. The Indian Constitution provides for disqualification of any elected representative, if the member defects to any other party or voluntarily gives up membership in a party, or disobeys the directives of the party leadership on a vote.
The upcoming election, slated for 8 February, will be a triangular fight with the participation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Congress.