ECI raises complaint against Assam BJP candidate over beef remark in poll rally



The Election Commission of India (ECI) has lodged a complaint against a BJP candidate from Gauripur Legislative Assembly constituency, Banendra Kumar Mushahary over a “sensitive” comment on beef at an election rally in a minority-dominated area of western Assam’s Dhubri district.

The ECI move comes in the wake of city-based Purbanchal Hindu Aikya Mancha, intimating the poll body that the BJP candidate while addressing concerns on beef ban, stated that “beef is a national food.”

In an email to an office-bearer of the Mancha, the ECI informed that a “complaint has been raised with the concerned officers through the NGS (National Grievance Services) portal and that the email had been forwarded to the concerned officer for quick response.”

The statement by Mushahary has sparked outrage among some locals in Dhubri district, who have demanded an apology from him.

Members of Purbanchal Hindu Aikya Mancha also registered an FIR against the MLA at Dispur Police Station here, questioning how a candidate can make a sensitive statement to attract votes from one community while hurting the sentiments of another when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in force.

Condemning the BJP candidate’s statement, the Mancha wrote in the FIR to register a case against Mushahary under sections of the IPC and take strong legal action for violating MCC and spreading hatred and enmity amongst two religious communities.

In a video clip from the public rally, the BJP leader, while addressing people, is heard saying, “The beef that we eat… how it can be banned? It is a national food.”

The Mancha has also provided a link of the footage, as evidence, to the officer-in-charge of Dispur police station.

Mushahary, who joined BJP in December last year, was first elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly in 1996 as an Independent candidate from the Gauripur constituency.

They elected him again as an Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) candidate in 2001 from Gauripur.

Thereafter, he joined the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and was elected as an MLA for the third time in 2011.

(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)


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