On October 25, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) approached the Election Commission of India as well as the Telangana State Election Commission against BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) electoral candidate and MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) Tiger Raja Singh. The complaint highlighted the hate speeches delivered by Singh in Gujarat during the recently concluded Garba festivities which were aimed at instigating disaffection, spreading misinformation, peddling conspiracies and promoting violence against religious minorities. Since promoting enmity between different communities/faiths, raising calls for violence and spreading misinformation by a candidate are in blatant contravention of election laws and the Model Code of Conduct, CJP urged the concerned authorities to take the necessary action against him.
The complaint also highlighted the letters that Singh wrote to garba organisers in Hyderabad, urging them to restrict the entry to the said Garba events exclusively to Hindus. In these letters, Singh raised the bogey of ‘Love Jihad’ and the issue of ‘safety of Hindu girls’ to justify discrimination. He also urged a team of at least 100 Hindu karyakartas (workers) to be deployed at the events and if any entry (of “Love Jihadis”) is noticed, they would take necessary steps to prevent it. As a consequence of these letters, on October 18, an alleged ‘ruckus’ had arisen in Hyderabad at a garba event where the Bajrang Dal had created an issue over a Muslim man entering the celebrations.
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The complaint provided that through the speeches and the highlighted conduct, Singh has openly uttered words that defy the laws established and has the potential to impact on the safety of the minority community of Muslims living in India as well as result in incidents of communal violence.
The complaint states: “By uttering these words, Singh has attempted to promote such attacks that are based on systematic and crude religious profiling and also shamefully demonized a whole community as potential trouble-makers, as harassers of women, as ‘love jihadists’.”
IT is essential to note here that on October 22, 2023, a statement was released by the BJP reinstating Singh and revoking his suspension based on his reply to the show cause notice issued to him by the Central Disciplinary Committee. In his response to the secretary of the BJP disciplinary committee Om Pathak, Singh had promised not to do anything that brought disrespect to the party. He had further alleged that he had ‘never criticised Muslims’. The complaint emphasized that the communally inflammatory statements uttered by Singh during the garba events show that there was no truth to his promises.
The complaint details the serious violations of Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People Act, 1951 that Singh committed. CJP has urged the ECI to take cognizance of the violations, pass necessary strictures against Singh and bar him from making any electoral speeches in any of the poll-bound state.
The complete complaint can be read here: