The BJP on Monday moved the Election Commission seeking a 5-day ban on renowned actor and MNM President Kamal Haasan for describing Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, as the first Hindu terrorist in independent India. The complaint has been filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, saying the statement was intended to outrage religious feelings of millions of Hindus.
Kamal was speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency where by-elections will be held on May 19. Kamal according to the complaint, said: "The first terrorist post India's independence is a Hindu."
Establishing the comment as a corrupt practice, the complaint said: "It is necessary to state that the statement was made deliberately in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain, which is clearly a corrupt practice under Section 123 (3) the Representation of the People Act 1951."
Upadhyay said the speech at a political rally has also breached the Model Code of Conduct as no one can appeal to caste or communal feelings to secure votes. The complaint claimed that the statement was a deliberate and malicious act, and prejudiced the maintenance of "harmony and brotherhooda between communities, which is punishable under Section 153A of the IPC".
The compliant urged the poll panel to invoke Article 324 of the Constitution and "restrict Haasan from campaigning for at least five days, lodge a FIR against him under respective sections of IPC and take steps to de-register his political party".
According to media reports, Kamal Haasan clarified that his statement did not focus on the dominant Muslim electorate in the constituency. "I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I'm saying this in front of Gandhi's statue. The first terrorist post India's independence is a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse."
(With inputs from IANS)