01:13 GMT07 March 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s capital city is slated to hold elections on 8 February for the 70-member legislative assembly and whose results will be out on 11 February. The polls are set to be a battle among three parties: Aam Admi Party (AAP), BJP, and Congress.

    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    According to media reports, Twitter said it had withdrawn one of his posts at the behest of the Election Commission, where Mishra likened the forthcoming Delhi elections to a contest between India and Pakistan.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”.

    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”.

    Since a special code of conduct linked to elections is in place, the Election Commission of India took congnizance of the tweet and registered an FIR against Mishra on Friday under the provision of the Representation of Peoples Act.

    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.


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