BJP MLA from Belagavi rural constituency Sanjay Patil has been booked by police for his communal speech. The FIR was registered based on a compliant by the Election Commission. A video of the same was widely reported on media earlier in the day.
Marihal police registered a case under sections of the Indian Penal Code including 153 (A) (promoting enmity between two groups), 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act. (Promoting enmity between classes in connection with election).
The FIR was registered at 9pm on Friday based on a complaint by one Election Commission Flying Squad official identified as 49-year-old ND Kolakar.
According to the police complaint, the speech was made on April 15 (Sunday) at 8:30pm in the evening.
In the video, which has now gone viral, Patil as a part of his poll pitch is heard saying, “This election is not about road, gutter or drinking water…This election is about Hindus vs Muslims, Ram Mandir vs Babri Masjid.”
He went on to add, “I am Sanjay Patil, I am Hindu, this is a Hindu rashtra and we want to build the Ram temple. If Lakshmi Hebbalikar says she can build the mandir - vote for her. They will build Babri Masjid instead. Whoever wants Babri Masjid, Tipu Jayanthi they should vote for the Congress. And who wants Shivaji Maharaj and Ram Mandir should vote for the BJP,”
The party is yet to distance itself from the MLA’s statement. Meanwhile, KPCC president G Parameshwara tweeted that “BJP has always been about communal politics”.
Earlier too, MLA Patil has courted controversy. He was booked by police in November 2017 for his comments against CM SIddaramaiah during a public rally.
He had questioned Siddaramaiah’s religion while opposing his decision to hold Tipu Jayanti celebrations.
He was also in a controversy for allegedly speaking in favour of Maharashtra over a border dispute. However, he later apologised for his statement.