Patna: A case was lodged against cricketer-turned-politician and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday for violating the Model Code of Conduct in Bihar’s Katihar district, police said.
According to district police officials, an FIR was lodged against Sidhu at Barsoi Police Station in Katihar based on the statement of a local magistrate.
The case was lodged in connection with Sidhu’s allgedly objectionable appeal to Muslims to vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, while campaigning in Barsoi in Katihar parliamentary constituency.
Earlier in the day, Bihar BJP leaders had said they would make a complaint to the Election Commission against Sidhu.
Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC) Amit Kumar Pandey, who is the district’s nodal officer for Model Code of Conduct, took cognizance of Sidhu’s statement and asked the local administration to submit a CD of his speech at an election rally.
Pandey said if it was established that Sidhu made the appeal for vote on the basis of religion, the Election Commission would take appropriate action against him.
While canvassing support for veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Tariq Anwar, Sidhu urged Muslims to vote en bloc and defeat Modi.
Katihar is part of backward Seemanchal region having sizeable Muslim population, and their support or opposition could decide the outcome of polls.
Sidhu reportedly said: “Do not consider yourself as being in minority. You constitute the majority here. You are about 64 per cent. Do not fall into the trap laid by people like (Asaduddin) Owaisi (chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen). They have been propped up by the BJP.
“Recognise your strength and vote en block to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Katigar will go to polls on April 18 in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections.