Surjewala barred from campaigning for 48 hrs


The poll body issued a show-cause notice to Surjewala for allegedly making “vulgar” remarks about Hema Malini…reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission on Tuesday banned Congress leader Randeep Surjewala from campaigning for 48-hours over his alleged “derogatory remarks” against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Hema Malini.

ECI bars Randeep Surjewala from holding any rally, public appearances and interview.

The poll body issued a show-cause notice to Surjewala for allegedly making “vulgar” remarks about Hema Malini.

“Now, therefore, the Commission without prejudice to any Order/Notice issued or to be issued subsequently to him in the matter relating to MCC violations, hereby, strongly condemns the impugned statement made by him during election campaign held in Haryana and reprimands Randeep Singh Surjewala for the above said misconduct,” the Election Commission stated.

“The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) etc. in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours from 06:00 pm on 16th April, 2024 (Tuesday),” it added.

“Whereas, the Commission had issued a show cause Notice No. 437/6/COMP/ECI/LET/FUNCT/MCC/2024, dated 9th March, 2024 to Randeep Singh Surjewala for violation of the aforesaid provisions of Model Code of Conduct for making the above-quoted statement,” it stated.

“Whereas, a reply dated 11th April, 2024 has been received from Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala in response to the Commission’s above said notice wherein he has inter alia, claimed that the video cited by the complainant allegedly containing aforesaid utterances was a doctored video,” it said.

The Election Commission further said that the Commission received a complaint dated April 5 wherein it was alleged that Randeep Singh Surjewala had made the following “sexist, vulgar and unethical” public utterances against the dignity of BJP Member of Parliament, Hema Malini while campaigning in Haryana.

Meanwhile, Surjewala launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the electoral bonds and said that electoral bonds have to be investigated by the next government through the agency of a Supreme Court judge.

“Prime Minister Modi’s comment on electoral bonds shows that electoral bonds were organised corruption and loot of people’s resources. It was ‘chanda do’, dhandha lo’…This would have to be investigated by the next government through the agency of a Supreme Court judge,” he lashed out.

He further stated that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the country are the people power of Congress versus the money power and muscle power of BJP.

“It’s the people’s power of the Congress vs muscle power and money power of the BJP & NDPP. I assure you every time the money power which is attacking India’s Constitution and our cultural ethos has stood against people’s power, people’s power has won in India and also internationally in every other country. I am 100% certain that now that a new name has been given to him (S Supongmeren Jamir) ‘Mr Superman Jamir’ will keep the Congress flag flying with the blessings of the people of Nagaland and Congress will emerge victorious,” he added.

In an interview with ANI, PM Modi said the electoral bonds scheme was aimed at curbing black money in elections and said the opposition wants to run away after making allegations.

He said of the 16 companies that gave donations when action was taken by probe agencies, only 37 per cent of the amount went to the BJP and 63 per cent to opposition parties opposed to the BJP.

“This is the success story of electoral bonds, there were electoral bonds, so you are getting a trail which company gave, how it gave, and where it gave. Whether what happened in the process was good or bad can be an issue of debate….I never say that there is no shortcoming in decision-making. We learn after discussing and improving. There is a lot of scope for improvement in this as well. But today we have completely pushed the country towards black money, hence, I say everyone will regret it. When they think honestly, everyone will regret it,” PM Modi said. (ANI)

BJP urges EC to stop Cong’s ‘Guarantee Cards’ campaign

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to restrain the Congress from “publishing, disseminating and distributing Guarantee Cards or any such material aimed to promote electoral bribery and inducement of voters”.

The party has also requested the poll panel to order filing of FIRs against the ‘agents’ of the Congress distributing the Guarantee Cards to the voters throughout India.

The BJP has termed the Congress’ “Ghar Ghar Guarantee” initiative — launched by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge on April 3 — as a “corrupt practice that amounts to bribery”.

“This initiative purportedly involves disseminating Guarantee Cards to the households across India, purportedly containing QR code, perforated application form, and manifesto pledges,” the BJP said in its representation to the ECI.

“To further confound the wrong, the cards bear the promissory signatures of prominent Congress leaders, namely Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, as official endorsement,” stated the party, adding, “These purported activities raise serious concerns regarding grave violation of electoral laws and regulations, particularly about the manipulation of voters’ trust and the misrepresentation of the Guarantee Cards as legitimate instruments for accessing promised INC freebies, largesse and utopian promises.”

The party contended that “allowing such practices openly contradicts the principles of free and fair elections, and sets a precedent where only registered political supporters may be entitled to government schemes and not the remaining ones”.

Citing the Model Code of Conduct and the Indian Penal Code, the BJP told the ECI that this practice falls under corrupt practice and bribery, and stern action needs to be taken in this case under the relevant laws.

The BJP also accused the Congress and its leaders of committing similar “unethical and illegal” acts in the past as well.

“During the Rajasthan Assembly polls in 2023, the Congress had carried out a similar surrogate campaign to bribe and mislead the voters and the EC had then taken a serious view of the matter,” the BJP submitted to the poll panel.

It further said that to an unsuspecting voter, it may sound as if such ‘goodies’ would actually be handed over to them and hence it amounts to inducement that is expressly barred under the laws of the land, including the Model Code of Conduct.

This practice erodes the sanctity of the electoral process and undermines the foundational principles of democracy, the BJP pointed out, stating that practices like this warrant thorough investigation and stringent enforcement of legal measures to preserve the integrity of the electoral system.

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