The political storm over her ‘curse’ on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare was still raging when BJP Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur dropped another explosive statement on Saturday – she boasted that she climbed atop Babri Masjid and helped demolish it.
The Election Commission was quick to hand her a poll code violation notice – her second of the day. The Madhya Pradesh chief electoral officer, V L Kantha Rao, also issued an advisory to all political parties, warning that ‘repeated violation of the model code of conduct and use of intemperate and abusive language may lead to action’.
Bringing Babri Masjid back into the political narrative, Sadhvi Pragya made the controversial remark to a TV channel while campaigning in Bhopal on Saturday.
“Ram Mandir will definitely be built,” she said, “A grand one.” Asked if she could give a timeline, Pragya said: “We will build the temple. After all, we went to demolish the structure.”
She boasted about her role in it. “I climbed atop the structure to break it. I am tremendously proud that God gave me the opportunity and the strength to do it. And I did it. We wiped off a blot on the country. Now we will build the Ram temple there ( Maine dhanche pe chadh ke toda tha. Mujhe bhayankar garv hai ki Ishwar ne mujhe avsar diya aur shakti di aur maine yeh kam kar diya. Ab wahin Ram Mandir banayenge ),” she said.
Within hours, the EC issued a second notice to her. CEO V L Kantha Rao said, “Taking suo motto cognizance of the statements by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur regarding the Ram Janmbhoomi demolition to a television channel, a notice has been issued to her.”
Prior to the notice, an advisory was issued to all registered political parties against repeated violation of the code of conduct and use of intemperate and abusive language, he added.
In the advisory, the CEO’s office has said that the “tide of complaints and counter-complaints” received indicates that politicians are making “provocative and inflammatory statements, calculated to cause mutual hatred, disharmony or ill will”. The poll panel has taken note of the use of intemperate and abusive language “transgressing the limits of decency”, and attacks on personal character and conduct of political rivals to “incite hatred and aggravate differences between parties and classes of citizens on the grounds of religion, caste, community”.