Those who give hate speech must be barred from polls: Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari

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Asked why he as the Delhi BJP chief was not taking action against people in his own party, Manoj Tiwari said, “Ek ko punish karne se nahi hoga na, aur punish humein nahi karna hai, kanoon ko karna hai (punishing one won’t solve the problem, and we don’t have to punish, the law has to)”.  (PTI Photo)

Days after his party lost the assembly polls in the national capital, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, has said politicians who give hate speeches should be barred from contesting — but the action should be across party lines.

Speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange, when asked why leaders such as Kapil Mishra, who raised slogans of “desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maro saalon ko”, were given a ticket, Tiwari said, “Unhone jab lagaya tha toh meri jankari me aaya nahi... hum to chahte hain ki aise hate speech waale ko permanently hata diya jaaye (When he raised [the slogan], it was not brought to my notice, but I want that people who give hate speech should be permanently removed).”

Read Manoj Tiwari's full interview

He added: “Ek aisa system bane ki jo bhi hate speech diya ho uski vaidhanik manyata hi samapt kar di jaaye (let us start a system wherein people who give hate speeches lose the legal right [to fight polls]). And if such a system is put in place, I, as an individual and not as party president, will support it.”

Asked why he was not taking action against people in his own party, he said, “Ek ko punish karne se nahi hoga na, aur punish humein nahi karna hai, kanoon ko karna hai (punishing one won’t solve the problem, and we don’t have to punish, the law has to)”.

When pressed further, he said: “Unko toh janta ne hi punish kar diya... aage se niyam banaate hain (the people have already punished him, going forward, let’s make a rule).”

He said everyone should be inspected, irrespective of party lines — be it Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan or Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

Tiwari’s comments come days after Home Minister Amit Shah, who led the BJP’s campaign in Delhi, acknowledged that hate speeches by party leaders may have contributed to the BJP’s poor performance.