Election Commission sends notices to PM Modi, Rahul, Kharge over violation of Model Code of Conduct : The Tribune India

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Election Commission sends notices to PM Modi, Rahul, Kharge over violation of Model Code of Conduct

ECI invokes Section 77 of Representation of People Act, holds party presidents responsible to reign in star campaigners

Election Commission sends notices to PM Modi, Rahul, Kharge over violation of Model Code of Conduct


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25

Days after the opposition Congress had complained against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Election Commission of India (ECI) over his incendiary speech in a rally at Banswara earlier this week, over alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct, the poll body on Thursday sent a notice to BJP president JP Nadda, seeking the party's response on the matter by April 29.

A similar notice was issued to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge over complaints made against Rahul Gandhi by the BJP.

The letters from the ECI to the two party presidents did not directly name either Modi, Gandhi or Kharge, but the representations received by it were attached to the respective letters and they contained details of allegations against the three leaders.

The ECI has invoked Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act and held the party presidents responsible, as a first step, to reign in star campaigners.

“Star Campaigners are expected to contribute to a higher quality of discourse by way of providing an all-India perspective, which sometimes gets distorted in the heat of the contests at the local level. Thus, the expectation from Star Campaigners is to provide corrective action or a sort of healing touch, when intensity of local campaign disrupts or inadvertently crosses over such boundaries,” wrote Senior Principal Secretary Narendra N. Butolia in the letter to Nadda.

“The Star Campaigners are thus expected to utilise this privilege for “propagating the programme of the political parties” and, therefore, their speeches in the campaign space necessarily needs to be judged at a higher threshold of compliance,” it read.

The ECI on April 23 said that it would examine the complaint made against the speech made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Rajasthan where he had said that if elected to power at the Centre, the Opposition Congress would distribute people’s property, land and gold among Muslims.

The BJP, on the other hand, had written to EC that Rahul Gandhi levelled malafide and utterly sinister allegations against Modi during a speech in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It also accused Kharge of violating the model code by claiming that he was not invited to the Ram temple consecration ceremony due to discrimination against SCs and STs.

#Congress #Narendra Modi

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