A day after Trinamool's Saket Gokhale was arrested again, after securing bail, in an alleged "fake tweet" case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party leader Derek O'Brien has accused the Election Commission of India of "looking away" when a BJP Chief Minister and an actor turned BJP MP "spread communal bile during Gujarat election". "No wonder the Supreme Court thinks EC is stooge," he said.
Derek O'Brien accused the EC of "arresting" Saket Gokhale while on his way to the airport after securing bail in a case filed by the Gujarat police, but ignoring alleged hate speech by BJP leaders.
"BJP CM & an actor turned BJP MP spread communal bile during Gujarat election. What does EC do ? Look away
@SaketGokhale of @AITCofficial gets bail in one case filed by Gujarat Police & was on his way to airport.
What does EC do? Arrest him
No wonder SC thinks EC is stooge," he tweeted today.
BJP CM & an actor turned BJP MP spread communal bile during Gujarat election.— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) December 9, 2022
What does EC do ? Look away @SaketGokhale of @AITCofficial gets bail in one case filed by Gujarat Police & was on his way to airport.
What does EC do? Arrest him
No wonder SC thinks EC is stooge
Though the Trinamool Congress leader didn't name the BJP leaders, his targets seem to be Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma whose comments on "love jihad" and Aaftab Amin Poonawala, the man arrested for murdering his girlfriend in Delhi, had drawn accusations of communalising the issue ahead of Gujarat Assembly elections, and actor Paresh Rawal, who has been called for questioning by the Kolkata Police over his comments on Bengalis made at an election rally in Gujarat.
He had earlier alleged that Mr Gokhale was "being harassed by Gujarat Police".
Saket Gokhale was granted bail after he was produced before the court following the completion of his police custody, but was arrested again soon afterwards by the Morbi police in another offence registered there.
While campaigning for the ruling BJP, Paresh Rawal said the people of Gujarat would tolerate inflation but not "Bangladeshis and Rohingya" next door and used a "cooking fish" stereotype that has incensed Bengalis.
Himanta Biswa Sarma had courted controversy for bringing in the horrific murder of Shraddha Walkar, linking it to so-called "love jihad", during Gujarat Assembly election campaigns, and also saying "Hindus normally don't contribute to riots".
The case against Mr Gokhale, says Gujarat police, originates from a tweet alleging that PM Modi's visit to Gujarat's Morbi - the site of a bridge collapse in which over 140 were killed - in November cost the state government Rs 30 crore -- around six times the total compensation given to the victims of the tragedy. He has also faked documents for his tweet on the subject, police sources have alleged.
The government's fact-check unit had zeroed in on the tweet, which was accompanied by what appeared to be a newspaper clipping. "RTI revealed the PM's visit to Morbi cost Rs 30 crore," it said. The Press Information Bureau, in its fact-check of December 1, said it was fake and "no such RTI response was given".