Wed, Feb 22, 2017 | updated 12:52 AM IST

EC warns all political parties, says won't be "silent spectator" if laws are violated

Updated: Jan 10, 2017 20:37 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 10 (ANI): Ahead of the upcoming polls in five states, the Election Commission on Tuesday issued an advisory to all political parties calling on them to refrain from making statements based on religion, or face stern action.

In a statement, the poll panel called on all political parties and its leaders to "desist from making statements to the effect of creating disharmony between different sections of society on the basis of religion, which disturbs peace and tranquilly of the society which is absolutely essential for free and peaceful conduct of elections."

The Commission further warned that it will not remain a "silent spectator" if the provisions of law or the Model Code of Conduct are violated and no one can do it with impunity.

"The Commission will take stern actions for any violation under all powers available. All may please note it and issue suitable advisory to all concerned," the statement read.

The development comes in the wake of the furore created over Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sakshi Maharaj, who received a notice from the Election Commission over his controversial comments that appeared to blame the Muslim community for India's population growth.

The MP has been asked to respond to the allegations by January 11, or the EC will initiate further action.

The Commission asserted that the the complaint filed on January 7 alleges that his Meerut speech, had the effect of promoting enmity between different classes in connection with the election on grounds of religion.

Sakshi Maharaj recently stirred a row saying, "this population rise in not because of the Hindus. Population has risen due to those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children."

Despite drawing flak for his offensive statement Sakshi Maharaj again stirred up a controversy on Saturday again, saying that it is not acceptable to have four wives and 40 children, adding that he should be "rewarded" for not having a child.

"The population is increasing by the day. A woman is not a machine. It is not acceptable to have four wives, 40 children and three divorces," Maharaj told ANI.

"We should be rewarded, as I have four brothers and we all are unmarried and thus we don't have any child," the BJP leader added. (ANI)

Agra, (Uttar Pradesh),[India] Feb. 21 (ANI): A Fire broke out at a godown of the Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj often hogs limelight for her witty replies on Twitter and resolving problems relating to visas and passport, but this time the minister's husband Swaraj Kaushal gave a glimpse of his sense of humour on the social media.

Full Story >>

Bhubaneswar, (Odisha),[India] Feb. 21 (ANI): Emerging as a champion against all odds by clearing the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) examination held in 2015, Sanyasi Behera, a visually-impaired candidate from Bhubaneswar has demonstrated how it is possible to fulfill one's aspirations through dedication and hard work.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday reviewed measures to alleviate pollution in the national capital.

Full Story >>

Narayanpur (Chhattisgarh) [India], Feb 21 (ANI): Seven naxals were killed in an encounter with the Police force in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21(ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday denied staying summons issued by a trial court in a defamation case against the team of movie Jolly LLB 2, including its actors Akshay Kumar and Annu Kapoor, director Subhash Kapoor and producers.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Mumbai on Tuesday recorded 55 percent voting in the elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), marking the highest in the last five times.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): A new round of dialogue on matters related to extradition and mutual legal assistance was held between the officials of India and the UK in New Delhi on February 20 and 21.

Full Story >>

Rwanda, Feb 21 (ANI): Calling for stronger ties between India and Rwanda in regard with addressing peace and security related issues, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday asserted that terrorism has emerged as a major impediment amid the quest for peace and prosperity.

Full Story >>

Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): The political battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance heated up an hour before the campaigning for the fourth phase of the assembly polls ended on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

Gadchiroli, (Maharashtra),[India] Feb. 21 (ANI): The Gadchiroli Police on Tuesday arrested two Naxalites from the Etapalli forest area of Maharashtra.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary V.K. Sasikala, serving a four-year jail term after her conviction in a disproportionate assets case, will have to serve an extra year in prison if she fails to pay the Rs. 10 crore fine imposed on her by the Supreme Court.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Celebrated actor Kamal Haasan and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday continued to engage in a war of words on Twitter, with the latter explaining why he took the jibe at the first place.

Full Story >>

Raipur Chhattisgarh, [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): The Chhattisgarh Government on Tuesday suspended its Principal Secretary B.L. Agarwal with immediate effect following his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over corruption charges.

Full Story >>

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): The Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Tuesday arrested one more in connection with the Bhopal ISI espionage case.

Full Story >>

Agartala (Tripura) [India], Feb.21 (ANI): Two Union Ministers- Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Babul Supriyo -- took part in the inauguration of a DigiDhan Mela organised at the Kshudiram English Medium school here on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Taking a jibe at the Congress-Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance for the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Bhopal Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said the impure 'cycle-hand' alliance would not be able to win against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Full Story >>

US Congress delegation calls on PM Modi

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 20:08 IST

New Delhi [India] Feb 21 (ANI): A bipartisan delegation of twenty-six members of the United States Congress called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

Kigali [Rwanda], Feb. 21 (ANI): Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday left for Uganda after concluding his three-day visit to Rwanda.

Full Story >>