The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday barred Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal, from campaigning for 72 hours starting 6 a.m on Thursday, for seeking votes on religious lines thereby violating the model code of conduct (MCC).
In its order issued on Wednesday, the poll panel “strongly condemned” her remarks and warned her not to repeat “such misconduct” in future.
The Commission barred her from holding public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows and giving interviews, and making public utterances in the media in connection with the ongoing elections for three days.
Thakur was issued two notices by the EC — one for her remarks during a TV interview and another for making remarks against former ATS chief Hemant Karkare.
In an interview to a television channel over the weekend, Thakur had said that she was among the people who demolished the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 and that she was “proud” of it.
“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,” Thakur told the channel.
The first notice against Thakur was issued after she said that former ATS chief Karkare died at the hands of terrorists during the 26/11 attack in Mumbai because she “cursed” him.
Following a backlash, Thakur apologised admitting that Karkare was a “martyr”. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had distanced itself from her remarks.
The 49-year-old is an accused in the Malegaon blasts case in which six people died and around 100 were injured in 2006. She is currently out on bail and her candidature has been challenged in the court by the father of one of the those dying in Malegaon.