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EC asks Kapil Mishra to reply by Friday on his Pak comment

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Kapil Mishra

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has issued a show cause notice to BJP’s Model Town Assembly candidate Kapil Mishra for his controversial statement on describing Shaheen Bagh protesters agitating over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as a “mini Pakistan that promotes hatred in the society”. The Commission has asked Mishra to reply on Friday.

The Returning Officer (RO) for the Model Town Assembly constituency, Banwari Lal in his letter to Mishra on Thursday said: “It has been observed that there are several news items in the electronic media and social media about your statement on Shaheen Bagh like — ‘Delhi me chote chote Shaheen Bagh Bane’, ‘Shaheen Bagh me Pak ki entry’ and ‘India vs. Pakistan 8th February, Delhi. On February 8, on the streets of Delhi there will be a competition between India and Pakistan’.”

“And, whereas clause 1 (1) of the Model Code of Conduct stipulates as under: No party or candidate shall include in any activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different caste and communities, religious or linguistic.

“And, whereas Section 123 (3A) of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 defines the corrupt practice as under — the promotion of, or attempt to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of caste, religion, race, community or language by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate,” the notice read.

“Therefore, your act is deemed to be a violation of the aforesaid provision of the model code of conduct and the Representation Act and the same is punishable under provisions of law,” the RO said.

“Hence, you are requested to explain as to why action under the provisions of law should not be initiated against you,” the RO said, adding that his reply should reach to the poll panel officer by 12.30 p.m. on Friday.

Lal also said that if he fails to give his reply or his reply is found unsatisfactory, action against Mishra will be taken without any further notice.

The EC took cognisance against the BJP candidate soon after he tweeted on Thursday: “AAP and Congress have made Shaheen Bagh like Mini Pakistan. In their response entire country will rise on February 8. And whenever Pakistan will raise traitors in India, then every time Patriots will rise.”

Mishra had tweeted in response to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP candidate from Patparganj Assembly seat Manish Sisodia’s comment that he stands with the people of Shaheen Bagh.

In another tweet, Mishra, who was earlier a Minister in AAP government said, “….On February 8 on the streets of Delhi it will be a competition between India and Pakistan.”

The election for the 70-member Delhi Assembly is on February 8 and counting of votes will take place in February 11.

Politics

British MP’s visa was canceled before she landed in India

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Debbie Abrahams

New Delhi, Feb 18 : The UK opposition member of the British Parliament Debbie Abrahams who has alleged that she was “unjustifiably denied entry to India”, did not carry a valid visa, the government sources said.

Government sources told IANS that Abrahams was not in the possession of a valid visa at the time of her travel to India and she was accordingly requested to return.

She was issued an e-business visa on October 7, 2019 which was valid till October 5, 2020 to attend business meetings, sources said.

Her e-business visa was revoked on February 14 on account of her indulging in activities which went against India’s national interest, a source said.

“The rejection of the e-business visa, sources said, was intimated to her on February 14, way before she boarded a plane to India.

“The grant, rejection, revocation of visa/electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is the sovereign right of any country,” officials in New Delhi said.

“The previously issued e-business visa was meant for business meetings and not for tourism or visiting family and friends as claimed by her. This is not permitted as per the rules and a separate visa request has to be made,” a visa official said adding that there is no provision of ‘visa on arrival’ for UK nationals at the airport.

Interestingly, the opposition leader and Congress parliamentarian Abhishek Singhvi justified Abrahams deportation. Terming it “necessary”, Singhvi who is also a noted lawyer, tweeted: “She is not just an MP but a Pak proxy known for her clasp with Pak govt and ISI. Every attempt that tries to attack India’s sovereignty must be thwarted.”

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India

Congress cautious on Labour MP Abrahams’ visa denial

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Debbie Abrahams

New Delhi, Feb 18 : The Congress has been cautious on the issue of the deportation of British Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, who was denied entry into India and was sent back from New Delhi airport. Congress leader Gourav Vallabh said that “the government should come out with facts on what happened”.

Another Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi has backed her deportation.

“The deportation of Debbie Abrahams by India was indeed necessary, as she is not just an MP, but a Pak proxy known for her clasp with Pak government and ISI. Every attempt that tries to attack India’s sovereignty must be thwarted.” tweeted Singhvi.

Debbie Abrahams, who chairs a UK parliamentary group on Kashmir, said she arrived at Delhi airport at about 8.50 a.m. on Monday, and claimed that her visa was valid till October 2020 and she was visiting her Indian relatives. She was accompanied by her Indian members of staff.

Narrating her side of the story, she said the immigration official in New Delhi “looked at his screen and started shaking his head. Then he told me my visa was rejected. he took my passport and disappeared for about 10 minutes. When he came back he was very rude and aggressive as he shouted ‘come with me’.”

“I told him not to speak to me like that & was then taken to a cordoned off area marked as a Deportee Cell. He then ordered me to sit down & I refused. I didn’t know what they might do or where else they may take me, so I wanted people to see me. He disappeared again when I rang my sister-in-law’s cousin, Kai, who I was meant to be staying with. Kai got in touch with the British High Commission & he tried to find out what was going on,” the British MP said in her statement.

“After lots of different immigration officials came to me, I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked and if I could get a ‘visa on arrival’ but no one seemed to know. Even the person who seemed to be in-charge said he didn’t know & was really sorry about what had happened,” Abrahams said.

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Politics

Gandhi, Godse cannot go hand-in-hand: Kishor

The latest to join his bandwagon is Tamil Nadu’s DMK, which has roped in I-PAC to strategise its campaign for next Assembly elections.

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Prashant-Kishor

Patna, Feb 18 : Political strategist and politician Prashant Kishor on Tuesday hit out at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying that his party JD-U was aligning with those “going soft on Mahatma Gandhi’s killer”, adding that the ideologies of the Father of the Nation and his assassin Nathuram Godse cannot go hand in hand.

“There has been a lot of discussion between me and Nitish ji on the party ideology. He has his own thought process and I have mine. There have been differences between him and me — the ideologies of Godse and Gandhi cannot stay together. You have to say which side you are on,” said Kishor, who was expelled from the Janata Dal-United last month.

“Nitishji always told us that the party can never leave the ideals of Gandhiji. But now, the party is with those who are soft on Gandhi’s killer Godse. For me, Gandhiji and Godse cannot go hand in hand,” he added.

Kishor, who runs a consultancy firm Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) and rebel leader Pavan Varma were thrown out by the Nitish Kumar’s JD-U after its senior leadership was locked in an ugly war of words with the duo.

The 43-year-old strategist, who helped Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in strategising in the run-up to the Assembly elections, will launch his “Baat Bihar Ki” campaign from February 20 to reach out to the people of his native state.

“My relationship with Nitish Kumar has never been a political one; he always treated me as a son. Those who know us will vouch for this. I also consider him a father figure,” Kishor said at a press conference here, his first after expulsion from JD-U on January 29.

Kishor was accused of questioning the JD-U stand on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Kishor also accused the JD-U chief of making an “ideological compromise” to stay in an alliance with the BJP.

“Many JD-U leaders feel that staying in an alliance with the BJP will help the party. And the Chief Minister believes that in an alliance there are times when you have to compromise.”

He revealed that his ideological differences with Nitish Kumar first emerged during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “We had a standoff on two points. It’s not new, it started during the Lok Sabha elections,” Kishor said.

Kishor joined the JD-U in September 2018. He first entered the political arena in 2011 when he met then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and helped him stitch his third consecutive win in the Gujarat Assembly polls in 2012. However, it was his active involvement in Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha campaign “an election that is a textbook case for everything done right” that catapulted him to instant fame with his ‘chai pe charcha’ campaign.

After the success of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the Bihar polls in 2015, Kishor was a hot property which every political party vouched for. And the results of elections in Punjab in 2017, Andhra Pradesh in 2019, West Bengal by-polls in 2019, and now Delhi in 2020 have further increased his demand.

The only failure for Kishor so far has been the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2017, wherein the Congress and the Samajwadi Party combine lost to the BJP despite campaigns like ‘Khat pe charcha’ and ‘UP ke Ladke’.

The latest to join his bandwagon is Tamil Nadu’s DMK, which has roped in I-PAC to strategise its campaign for next Assembly elections.

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