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BJP, Congress have Responded to Complaints against Modi, Rahul: ECI

BJP, Congress have Responded to Complaints against Modi, Rahul: ECI

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NEW DELHI, May 14: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday said both the BJP and the Congress presidents have responded to the notices issued to them on the violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi respectively.

Appropriate action on the complaints and counter complaints was still under the consideration of the Commission, the poll body said.

In a statement listing the steps taken to address the MCC violations since March 16, the EC said approximately 425 major complaints, excluding canvassing-related or clarificatory complaints, had been filed by various political parties and candidates at the level of EC and Chief Electoral Officers (CEO).

Of these, action had been taken (or matter disposed) in 400 cases. While the Congress had filed approximately 170 complaints, the BJP’s number was 95; around 160 complaints were received from parties other than the two. Most of these complaints have been acted upon, it said.

The commission said a few complaints of Congress and the BJP against each other were pending, alleging violation of MCC in the genre of divisive statements by star campaigners on communal, caste, and regional language divide, or on sanctity of Constitution of India.

“In the past, the Commission has been issuing notices to individual leaders who had committed violations of MCC. Commission has adopted a new course with its advisory dated March 1, 2024 to party presidents/chairpersons/General Secretaries of all recognised political parties urging them to ask their leaders/candidates/star campaigners not to make speeches/utterances which are in direct or indirect violation of MCC.”

In a first, the commission had on April 25 issued a notice for violation based on the complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, taking a circuitous route, the notice was sent to BJP president J.P. Nadda, and not to Mr Modi. The notice failed to even mention the name of the Prime Minister. The complaints attached to the notice, however, were those of the Congress against Mr Modi’s “malicious election speech delivered at Banswara (Rajasthan),” along with complaints from other parties, such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

A similar notice was served to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, regarding complaints against him and Rahul Gandhi. “Response from both parties has been received and appropriate action on complaints or counter complaints is under examination or consideration of the Commission,” the poll body statement on Tuesday said.

The EC also said that the Lok Sabha election campaign by various parties and candidates at the constituency level has “largely remained violence free, less noisy, less cluttered and intrusive, free of inducement and ostentatiousness.”

(Manas Dasgupta)



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