Monday, May 27, 2024

Violation of MCC: EC seeks response from Narendra Modi – but also Rahul, Kharge

The Election Commission of India (ECI), which has continued to receive flak for not acting on PM Narendra Modi’s hate speech against Muslims during poll campaign in Rajasthan on April 21, has purportedly taken cognisance of the Model Code of Conduct violation today.

On Thursday, the poll panel wrote to BJP President J P Nadda regarding complaints about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge concerning complaints related both to him and party former chief Rahul Gandhi.

The ECI has sought ‘comments’ from Nadda and Kharge by 11 am on April 29.

This is an unprecedented move. Earlier notices of alleged MCC violations were served directly to the candidate or star campaigner concerned. Even during the ongoing campaign for the Lok Sabha election 2024, all MCC notices served by the ECI have been issued directly to party leaders, including BJP leader Dilip Ghosh, Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and Supriya Shrinate, and AAP leader Atishi.

The Commission’s letter doesn’t name the Prime Minister. The letter to Nadda only includes complaints filed by the Congress, the Communist Party of India, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) against PM Modi’s hate speech cases.

The notice to Kharge includes complaints filed by the BJP, alleging he and Rahul Gandhi violated the MCC. The saffron party claimed that during a speech in Kottayam on April 18, Gandhi made ‘false allegations’ against the PM, stating that he had advocated for ‘one nation, one language, and one religion’.

The notice mentions that Kharge, in comments made to The Indian Express on the same day, said President Droupadi Murmu was not invited to the Ram Temple consecration ceremony because she is Dalit.

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