Mind your tongue: ECI tells politicians not to cross the red line - The Tribune India

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Mind your tongue

ECI tells politicians not to cross the red line

Mind your tongue

IN a commendable step, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has pulled up former Calcutta High Court judge and BJP candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay for his derogatory remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and debarred him from campaigning for 24 hours. - File photo



IN a commendable step, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has pulled up former Calcutta High Court judge and BJP candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay for his derogatory remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and debarred him from campaigning for 24 hours. Rather than confining its order to just one contestant, the poll panel has asked the BJP to issue an advisory to all party candidates and campaigners to ensure that such lapses do not recur during the campaign period. Describing Gangopadhyay’s comments as a ‘low-level personal attack’, the ECI said he had violated the Model Code of Conduct. The ECI’s exemplary reprimand will help in blunting the Opposition’s charge that the poll panel invariably favours the ruling party at the Centre.

Gangopadhyay, who joined the BJP in March after resigning as a judge, has not exactly covered himself in glory by basely targeting the CM. It does not behove someone of his professional background to stoop so low. The ECI has rightly reminded political leaders that their criticism of other parties should avoid ‘all aspects of private life not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers’.

Another judge of the Calcutta High Court, Justice Chitta Ranjan Dash, has caused controversy by thanking the RSS in his farewell speech. He stated that he owed a lot to the organisation and was ready to go back to it. Later, Justice Dash argued that it would have been hypocritical of him not to have mentioned his long association with the right-wing body. Both ex-judges deserve flak for having dented the reputation of the judiciary, whose independence is central to the rule of law and constitutional norms. No less significant is the autonomy of the ECI, which has done well to warn both the BJP and the Congress to desist from campaigning along religious, communal, linguistic and caste lines. 

#BJP #Mamata Banerjee #West Bengal


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