BJP's Shobha Karandlaje booked for MCC violation

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Shobha Karandlaje BJP

Union minister Shobha Karandlaje (File image)

Bengaluru: Union Minister and BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje has been booked for alleged model code violation over her recent remarks on the people of Tamil Nadu, Election Commission officials here said. The move comes a day after the EC directed the Karnataka chief electoral officer (CEO) to take immediate and appropriate action on the DMK's complaint regarding the violation by Karandlaje, who is BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from the Bangalore North constituency. The poll panel also sought a compliance report on the matter within 48 hours.

DMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, had sought action against Karandlaje for alleging that a person from Tamil Nadu was responsible for the IED blast at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru on March 1. In its complaint, the DMK said that the minister’s statement generalised the people of Tamil Nadu as “extremists”.

According to the CEO, the Bangalore District Election Officer has filed an FIR against Karandlaje under sections 123 (3A), 125 and 123 (3) of the RP (Representation of the People ) Act at Cottonpet police station here.

This is the first action ordered by the EC against a key political figure in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

During a protest in Bengaluru on Tuesday, Karandlaje had said that law and order in Karnataka has "deteriorated". People who come from Tamil Nadu plant bombs here, those from Delhi chant "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans and some who come from Kerala were involved in "acid attacks", she claimed.

She later apologised for her remarks and said she was retracting her comments.

The Madurai police has also booked her for “promoting enmity” between different groups, while her remarks have drawn sharp criticism from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and other DMK leaders.