EC notice to Nadda, Kharge


The EC has come down heavily on both the BJP and the Congress for campaigning along caste, community, language, and religion…reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) president JP Nadda and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to issue formal notes to star campaigners to correct their discourse, exercise care and maintain decorum.

This is the Commission’s unprecedented orders to the BJP and Congress in the wake of plummeting quality of campaigning led by their star campaigners.

The EC has come down heavily on both the BJP and the Congress for campaigning along caste, community, language, and religion.

The poll body has directed star campaigners from both parties to refrain from religious and communal overtones in their campaigning. The ECI has also asked the BJP to stop campaign speeches that may lead to division in society.

The EC has directed the Congress to ensure that star campaigners do not make statements that give false impressions such as the Constitution of India may be abolished or sold. Moreover, while speaking on the Agniveer scheme, the poll body has asked the Congress campaigners or candidates not to politicise the defence forces and to not make potentially divisive statements regarding the socio-economic composition of the defence forces.

The Commission has observed that India’s sociocultural milieu is an enduring preserve and cannot be made a casualty of elections. The EC has also said that the BJP and the Congress will not be allowed to weaken the heritage of quality electoral experience of the Indian voter.

The Election Commission has bared all allegations by the BJP and Congress against each other and rejected their defences. The Commission has pointed out that the party in power should have extra responsibility during poll time and has said that there should not be any unlimited extra space for the Opposition as well.

Calcutta HC slams EC

Earlier, the Calcutta HC pulled up the Election Commission of India for its inaction regarding Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) complaints against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) alleged slanderous ads, which violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), according to a report by Bar and Bench.

The court also prohibited the BJP from publishing any derogatory advertisements against the TMC until further notice.

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, presiding over a single bench, noted that the advertisements in question breached both the MCC and the Press Council of India guidelines. He pointed out the ECI’s failure to act promptly, necessitating the court’s intervention.

“The ECI has grossly failed to address the complaints of the TMC in due time. This Court is surprised that resolution of the complaints after the conclusion of elections is nothing to the court and as such in due failure on part of the ECI in due time this court is constrained to pass an injunction order,” Justice Bhattacharya said.

Legal blow to BJP’s election ads

The court found the BJP’s advertisements during the ‘silence period’ to be in violation of the MCC, impacting the rights of both the TMC and citizens to fair elections.

The court deemed the allegations and publications against the TMC as overtly derogatory and intended to insult rivals and launch personal attacks, thereby contradicting the MCC and infringing upon the rights of the petitioners and Indian citizens to a free and fair electoral process.

“The allegations and publications made against TMC are outright derogatory and definitely intended at insulting the rivals and levelling personal attacks. Hence, the said Ads being directly contradictory to the MCC as well as being violative of the rights of the Petitioner and all citizens of India to free, fair and untainted election process. The BJP, thus ought to be restrained from further publishing such Ads until further orders,” the court said.

The petitioners’ counsel had argued that the advertisements were slanderous and directly contravened the MCC, which prohibits political campaigns based on caste, creed, or religion.

EC inaction despite complaint

Despite lodging a complaint with the ECI, no action was taken until the filing of the writ petition, the report said. According to the petitioners, these advertisements infringed on their right to a free and fair election and violated the electorate’s rights.

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