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New Delhi:

The Election Commission, on Saturday, issued a show-cause notice to Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks through which he allegedly urged Muslim community not to vote for Modi in Bihar. He is asked for an explanation within 24 hours for he had warned Muslims not to split their votes and instead defeat BJP by voting against it unitedly. It was on April 16 he made the respective remarks.

“I am here to warn my Muslim brothers. They (BJP) are dividing you. By bringing people like Owaisi here, they want to divide your vote for winning. If you people unite and vote unitedly, then everything will overturn and Modi will be finished,” Sidhu said.

“This will be a sixer. Hit such a sixer that Modi is sent out of the boundary,” he added by invoking reference of cricket, from which he had retired after playing in the national team.

The poll panel said prima facie he has violated provisions of the model code of conduct, election law, and a Supreme Court direction asking politicians not to mix religion with political discourse while electioneering. The panel also pointed out that an FIR was lodged against Sidhu recently in the Katihar district of Bihar for making the remarks at an election rally there. Addressing the rally, where he was canvassing in support of veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Tariq Anwar, the cricketer-turned-politician had urged Muslim voters of a Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, with a sizeable population of the minority community, to vote together and defeat Modi.

“Do not consider yourself as being in a minority. You constitute the majority here. You are about 64 per cent. Do not fall into the trap laid down by people like Owaisi (president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen). They have been propped up by the BJP,” Sidhu had said at a rally held at Barasol, in the Balrampur assembly segment under the Katihar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.

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