New Delhi: Poll authorities on Friday directed the Delhi Police to file an FIR against BJP candidate Kapil Mishra in connection with his controversial tweet in which he likened the election in the city to an India versus Pakistan contest, sources said.
The Election Commission had asked Twitter to "take appropriate action by removing the tweet" as it aroused communal sentiments. The EC had also said that Twitter should intimate it about the action taken.
A show-cause notice was also issued to Mishra by the poll authorities for "violation of the model code of conduct and the Representation of the People Act," officials earlier said.
"The returning officer (RO) has directed the Delhi Police (DCP officer) to file an FIR against Kapil Mishra in connection with his controversial tweet," a source in the Delhi CEO Office told PTI.
In his tweet on Thursday, Mishra, a former minister in the Arvind Kejriwal Cabinet, had likened the February 8 Delhi election to a contest between India and Pakistan, sparking a controversy.
However, Mishra, despite a show-cause notice slapped on him, remained defiant and the controversial tweet could still be seen in his Twitter feed. By late evening, it had garnered nearly 9,000 retweets and 35,000 likes.
Queries sent to Twitter India did not elicit any response.
The Election Commission's action comes after the office of the Delhi Chief Electoral officer wrote to the EC last night to remove the tweet posted by Mishra, EC officials said.
Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh earlier said, "We took cognisance of the tweet and wrote to the EC last night seeking its removal. The EC then asked Twitter to remove his tweet. The tweet is a violation of the model code of conduct and the Representation of the People Act, so we have taken action."
In its criticism of the opposition parties over their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the BJP has been accusing them of speaking "Pakistan's language".
Mishra, in his response to the show-cause notice, claimed that his remarks were "general opinion" and "do not fall under the ambit of the model code of conduct and the Representation of the People Act".
"My comments have been taken out of context and misrepresented intentionally to paint a one-sided picture, to stoke differences. I swear by the Constitution of India and abide by its values," he said in his reply.
The Model Town candidate said his statement must be seen in "the context of Pakistan's attempt at sending their proxies to take undue advantage of the prevailing law and order situation in Delhi".
Authorities at the Delhi CEO Office had earlier said social media posts are being constantly monitored to check for any provocative or inflammatory posts or tweets being made by users, related to the polls.
Referring to the Shaheen Bagh protests, which have been going on for over a month now, Mishra, in his reply, said those protests are "neither in my constituency nor my voters" and claimed his statement "will have no impact" on those people.
He appealed to the protesters to call off the stir, saying people should not fall in the trap of "seditious groups funded by Pakistan".
The election will be a triangular fight involving the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
Polling will be held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.
In a series of tweets in Hindi on Thursday, Mishra had also lashed out at the anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh and other places in the city.
"India vs Pakistan 8th February Delhi. There will be a contest on Delhi Roads between India and Pakistan on February 8."
"Pakistan has already entered Shaheen Bagh and small pockets of Pakistan are being created in Delhi," he had tweeted.
In another post, Mishra claimed that the BJP will win the February 8 polls and Kejriwal will resign from his post when votes are counted.
The former AAP leader was removed as minister by Kejriwal in 2017. Last year, he was also disqualified as AAP MLA under the anti-defection law.
Mishra faces AAP MLA Akhileshpati Tripathi in the elections.
More than 600 candidate are in the fray in the high-stakes Delhi polls after withdrawal of nominations on Friday by about 30 candidates.
According to the final electoral roll, over 1.46 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise.
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Updated Date: Jan 24, 2020 22:48:15 IST