'Vote jehad' appeal: UP Police books Congress leader Salman Khurshid, niece Maria Alam

Maria Alam, Salman Khurshid
Maria Alam, Salman Khurshid

Farrukhabad (UP) | The Uttar Pradesh Police Tuesday booked Congress leader Salman Khurshid and his niece Maria Alam after she called for a "vote jehad" in favour of the INDIA bloc candidate from Farrukhabad Lok Sabha seat.

Seeking votes for INDIA bloc candidate Naval Kishore Shakya on Monday, Alam, a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader, made an appeal for "vote jehad", terming it as necessary in the current situation for the minority community to drive away the BJP government.

Taking cognisance of the remarks made by Maria Alam, a case was registered against her for violating the provisions of the IPC and Representation of People Act following a complaint made by the Flying Squad and Surveillance Team, police said, and added that a case was also registered against Khurshid, who was the chief guest at the election meeting in Kaimganj.

The SHO of Kaimganj police station, Ramautar, on Tuesday told PTI, "A case was registered against Maria Alam and Salman Khurshid on the basis of a complaint made by the Flying Squad and Surveillance Team.

"The case was registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC and section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of People Act," he said.

Alam, while addressing an election meeting, made an appeal for "vote jehad", saying "in the current situation, 'vote jehad' is necessary for the minority community".

She said, "Together do vote jehad -- with intelligence, without being sentimental and with silence. As we can only do vote jehad to drive away this Sanghi government."

Stressing that it was time to join hands, she said otherwise this "Sanghi government will succeed in wiping out our existence".

"People say that Constitution and democracy are under threat. But I say that insaniyat (humanity) is under threat.

"Now there is an attack on 'insaniyat'. If you want to save the country, its beauty and 'ganga-jamuni' (composite) culture, then vote very intelligently without getting influenced by anyone," she stressed.

The video of Alam's statement has also gone viral on social media.

Asked to comment on the statement of his niece, Khurshid said generally he avoids using such words because its literal meaning is misinterpreted.

"Jehad means to fight against a situation. Her intention must have been to carry out vote jehad to protect the Constitution," he said.

On his candidature from INDIA bloc from the Farrukhabad seat, Khurshid said he was offered a Congress ticket from Aligarh. But he politely declined saying that "I am Salman Khurshid from Farrukhabad and I stay that only".

This was the first public meeting of the INDIA bloc in Farrukhabad with most of the senior leaders of the Congress and the SP present together on the dias.

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