BJP’s Kiran Bedi blames ‘fatwa’ for her defeat in Krishna Nagar, seeks EC probe

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New Delhi | Updated: Feb 11, 2015 9:19 PM

Kiran Bedi today appeared to blame a "fatwa" by Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari, appealing Muslims to support Aam Aadmi Party...


Kiran Bedi, Bharatiya Janata PartyA file photo of Kiran Bedi during an election campaign in New Delhi. (PTI)

Kiran Bedi today appeared to blame a “fatwa” by Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari, appealing Muslims to support Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), for her defeat in Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) traditional stronghold of Krishna Nagar in East Delhi and sought a probe into it by the Election Commission.

She said the Election Commission should inquire the issue to know whether the Shahi Imam’s appeal to Muslims a day before the polls had any impact on the electoral outcome.

“I want the Election Commission to inquire this. (Then only) it will be clearly known whether fatwa had an impact on the voters or not,” she said.

Bedi claimed that though she was leading in the vote count, her vote share started dropping when counting of votes in a Muslim-dominated area of her constituency was taken up.

“I was told that during the vote count in Krishna Nagar, I was leading but when the counting of votes of the area, where fatwa might have an impact, was carried out, it started to drop,” Bedi said, adding “I lost by 2000 votes when the counting reached that area.”

A day ahead of the polls on February 7, Bukhari appealed to Muslims to vote for AAP but the party promptly rejected the offer.

Though it was an appeal by Bukhari, several BJP leaders called it “fatwa”.

Bedi said a “complete study” should be done whether there was an impact of the “fatwa” on the freedom of choice in voting.

“Fatwa means a diktat, a directive, it also means a hukumnama in a way. EC should examine whether fatwas issued last minute before the elections are good for democratic process or not,” added Bedi.

AAP’s S K Bagga defeated Bedi by a margin of 2,277 votes in Krishna Nagar which had stood by BJP even during the 15 years of Congress rule under Sheila Dikshit.

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