EC sends notice to BJP over PM Modi’s speech in Banswara

New Delhi: Taking cognisance of the alleged Model Code of Conduct violation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Election Commission of India (ECI), on Thursday, sought a response from the BJP by April 29, on the complaints raised by Congress, CPI and CPI-M(L).

In its complaint to the ECI, the Opposition parties accused PM Modi of committing blatant violations of electoral laws, as well as of the Indian Penal Code, while addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21.

Congress said that the speech delivered by the Prime Minister, the ‘star campaigner’ of BJP for the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections, was “highly objectionable, divisive and ex-facie illegal.”

During the rally, PM Modi had said: “The Congress manifesto says that they will calculate the gold with mothers and sisters, and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom… Manmohan Singh’s government had said that Muslims have the first right on the country’s assets.”

“When their government was in power earlier, they had said that Muslims have the first right on the country’s assets. This means to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed among those who have more children and to the infiltrators. Will your hard-earned money be distributed to the infiltrators and do you really approve of this?” PM Modi had added.

Directing BJP president J. P. Nadda to respond to the complaints by 11 a.m. on April 29, the Election Commission asserted that the role of political parties in an electoral democracy, particularly after the notification of the general elections, is pivotal and hence stands clearly recognised in the formal statutory framework of the Representation of the People Act.

The ECI said that the grant of the status of the ‘star campaigner’ statutorily lies entirely within the realm of the political parties under Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the ‘star campaigners’ are expected to contribute to a higher quality of discourse, inter alia, by way of providing an all-India perspective, which sometimes gets distorted in the heat of the contests at the local level.

IANS

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