AP Congress Chief in Hate Speech Row

In the midst of hat seems to be a season for spitting fire and venom, Congress Andhra Pradesh state unit chief D Srinivas jumped on to the hate bandwagon. While delivering a controversial speech at Nizamabad, Srinivas allegedly threatened to “chop off the hands of those pointing fingers at the minorities.

The content of his speech has brought Srinivas under the Election Commission scanner and triggered the Bharatiya Janata Party into action which said that lax action against Srinivas for his Varun Gandhi like speech would blow the covers off a partisan attitude in the electoral reforms watchdog.

“Now we will see if we observe double standards in dealing with similar situations or we have set rules. Now will the EC advice Congress to drop Srinivas as the candidate and also whether the AP government will arrest him under NSA? Same thing goes for Lalu Prasad Yadav,” BJP leader Balbir Punj was quoted as saying.

“Now we have to see whether Manmohan Singh retains this man considering the PM went out of his way to pick on Varun Gandhi. It is a very dishonest defence. It is a language full of violence and I don’t see why Srinivas should be out when Varun Gandhi rests under NSA,” he added.

The party has already filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer terming the speech highly objectionable.

The party alleged the speech was made to earn votes of the minority community by inciting them against Hindus.

The Chief Election Officer, having taken note of the complaint, will watch the footage of his speech and decide on the matter on Tuesday.

BJP ire notwithstanding, Srinivas claims to be a “true secularist” and clarified that his speech was meant to discourage communal disharmony.

Though his political opponents say his pronouncements were geared towards arresting the polarization of Congress’ minority votes in the state, Srinivas said : “We have maintained a peaceful atmosphere in Nizamabad. I had only said that nobody should try and disturb the peace as we want the people of Nizamabad to live in peace.”

“I had only said that if anyone disturbs peace, their hands will be cut off but that doesn’t mean that I will actually cut off. It could be a curse as well. The text of my speech needs to be looked into and I am confident that EC would take a judicious decision,” he added.

Forced on the back-foot the Congress spokesman Manish Tewari in a reaction said that it was a matter of choosing inappropriate words.

With verbal battles thickening between the Congress and the BJP, the minorities are fast getting caught in the midst of hate being fired freely by those attempting to boost sagging political fortunes by indulging in oratorical promiscuity ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, it is time for credible EC action that will go a long way in ensuring that the hate perpetrators are stopped in their tracks.

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