BJP silent on Varun Gandhi's anti Muslim speech

. 3/17/09


"This is not a "hand", this is the power of the lotus. This will cut the head of the Muslims. Jai Shri Ram."

Varun Gandhi's hate speech against Muslims has landed him in trouble with the Election Commission sending a notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader after CNN-IBN showed his speech.

The Election Commission will meet on Tuesday to discuss the issue and has also asked for the tapes to review his speech.

CNN-IBN on Monday showed Varun making a provocative speech targeting Muslims.

On the campaign trail, Varun had reportedly said that he will cut the hands of those who target Hindus.

"They have scary names - Karimullah, Nazarullah - its scary to see them at night. I have a cousin - my aunt's daughter - she saw a pamphlet which had photos of all candidates. When my cousin who is seven-eight years old, saw Samajwadi Party's candidate's photo, she said Bhaiya (big brother), I didn't know that Osama Bin Laden is fighting from your constituency," Varun said in his speech.

"This is not a "hand", this is the power of the lotus. This will cut the head of the Muslims. Jai Shri Ram. If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless... if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for our votes... if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus - then I swear on the Gita that I will cut that hand," said the hate monger.

Varun had been sent a notice by the District Magistrate on Sunday but he denied the charge in his written reply to the District Magistrate.

"I did not make any communal comments. It's been misquoted," he said.

The issue came to light when a local group filed a report which claimed Varun had made provocative speeches with communal undertones during his election rallies. Varun is contesting from Pilibhit seat from where his mother Maneka Gandhi was elected in the last Lok Sabha.

Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap said prime facie the speech is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

"Once enquiry results are out then only it can be decided if action can be taken against Varun Gandhi. The speech is a violation of Model Code of Conduct," said Kashyap.

The BJP found it hard to defend Varun Gandhi. Varun, in his official reply to the District Magistrate, may have denied he had made communal remarks, but for this novice politician here is one important lesson -- the camera doesn't lie.

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