AAP legislator Amanatullah Khan, an accused in Delhi Chief Secretary assault case, has yet again stoked controversy as he not only sought votes on the basis of religion, which is a violation under the Representation of the People Act but also equated the election process to ‘Ramzan’, to further polarise and communalise the general elections.
In a similar communal incitement, Firhad Hakim, senior TMC leader and Kolkata Mayor, has claimed that seven-phase elections in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will be tough for Muslim voters as they observe ‘Roza’ ahead of Ramzan festival. He further added that BJP did not want minorities to cast their votes. “But we aren’t worried. People are committed to ‘BJP hatao-desh bachao’,” said Hakim.
The controversial Delhi legislator tweeted a communal post after the Election Commission announced the dates of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In his post, Amanatullah Khan said that May 12, the date on which Delhi will be going for polls, will be celebrated as ‘Ramzan’ and cautioned Muslims of aiding BJP to win, if they do not vote in large numbers.
“May 12 will be the day of Ramzan in Delhi if Muslims vote less, it will directly help the BJP,” said Amanatullah Khan.
12 मई का दिन होगा दिल्ली में रमज़ान होगा मुसलमान वोट कम करेगा इसका सीधा फायदा बीजेपी को होगा।
— Amanatullah Khan AAP (@KhanAmanatullah) March 10, 2019
Amanatullah Khan blatant polarisation and seeking votes in the name of religion is a violation of Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act. The Supreme Court has ruled that “religion, race, caste, community or language would not be allowed to play any role in the electoral process”.
Section 123(3) of the Act defines as “corrupt practice” appeals made by a candidate or his agents to vote or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of “his” religion, race, caste, community or language. The election of a candidate would be declared null and void if an appeal is made to seek votes on these considerations.
This is not the first time that Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party has been indulging in such divisive communal politics. In a bid to appease the Muslim community of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal in January had announced salary hike for Imams of Delhi mosque, from Rs 10,000 to Rs 18,000. Addition to that, the salary of the helpers was also increased from Rs 9,000 per month to Rs 16,000 per month. At the event, CM Kejriwal and MLA Khan, both had made a similar appeal to Muslim communities to extend their support to Aam Aadmi Party, in the upcoming general elections.