Congress complains to EC against Modi’s remarks on Rahul

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NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission alleging a brazen violation of Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his remarks pertaining to the candidature of party President Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad in Kerala.

In its petition, the Congress sought urgent and necessary intervention by the poll panel over Modi’s remarks made at a rally in Wardha. The party also complained to the poll panel against “grave and corrupt practices” by senior BJP leaders in Arunachal Pradesh. In another petition, the party sought “posting/transfer” of joint commissioner of police Mumbai and review of other officials in Gujarat.

It also called for monitoring of polling booths in all constituencies, particularly in tribal areas. Talking to reporters after meeting EC officials, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party had made the fourth request for urgent and necessary intervention by the poll panel over Modi’s remarks.

The party’s complaint said that Modi had made “hateful and divisive” comments at an election rally at Wardha on April 1 and sought to target Rahul Gandhi “in language tailored specifically to create discord between two different religious communities”.

The party said Modi stated that Congress had insulted Hindus and people have decided to punish the party in the election. “Leaders of that party are now scared of contesting from constituencies dominated by majority (Hindu) population. That is why they are forced to take refuge in places where the majority is a minority,” the complaint quoted Modi as stating.

The party said Modi had also stated that Congress used the term “Hindu terror”. The complaint said that Modi and BJP have for five years “fostered an atmosphere of communal tension for petty political gains”.

“The Election Commission must act now and decisively to ensure that this is checked. The Prime Minister should be held accountable if nothing else to his own standard. The Prime Minister knows, but doesn’t seem to care, that this is a direct violation of Section 123 (3A) of Representation of People Act, 1951,” the Congress said.

The party said the commission had not intervened in the three past complaints of the party. “As a result, the PM’s violations grow ever more brazen,” the party said.

The party said that only available remedy compatible with the principle of zero-tolerance towards allegations of corrupt practices is “disqualification of the candidates who try to create a divide between different classes of the citizens of India”.

“We hope that the ECI treats this situation with the gravity it deserves. This is not a candidate who will be silenced by a simple censure. The integrity of our elections which are the bedrock of our democracy is at stake.

We hope that the ECI appreciates the seriousness and on this occasion, intervenes decisively,” the party said. In its petition pertaining to Arunachal Pradesh, the party alleged “cash-for-votes” conspiracy and sought immediate disqualification or barring of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and state BJP chief Tapir Gao.

It alleged that Rs 1.8 crore were recovered from a convoy of three leaders in a midnight raid. In another petition, the party said that Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police has been posted in Mumbai for nearly four years and has not been transferred till date in violation of the poll panel’s guidelines.

(AGENCIES)

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