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Congress moves EC seeking ban on Modi
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday moved the Election Commission alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “brazenly” violated the poll code by invoking armed forces repeatedly in his poll campaign and demanded that a campaign ban be imposed on him for some time.
A party delegation comprising senior leaders Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh and Abhishek Manu Singhvi made several representations to the Election Commission (EC), including against Modi, citing at least 10 examples of the Prime Minister allegedly invoking armed forces and defence personnel for seeking votes.
The opposition party also gave a memorandum against Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer’s ban on use of the slogan “Chowkidar Chor Hai”.
“The said ban on the usage is a direct violation of the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution of India,” the party said in its memorandum.
In another representation, the Congress complained against Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, alleging that after casting her vote on April 18 in Bengaluru she said “Abki baar phir Modi sarkar (Modi government once again)”.
“You cannot do such sloganeering at the polling booth. We have the video. We have given the video to EC. The ruling party is paying no heed to EC directives,” Sibal told reporters outside the EC. Singhvi said that out of the several representations the party made, two were related to invoking of the armed forces during campaigning. He alleged that despite the EC issuing so many directives and asking all parties to exercise utmost caution, Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly invoked armed forces and defence personnel as part of his election campaign, directly violating the Commission’s notifications. He cited the examples of Modi’s recent speeches in Rajathan’s Barmer and Gujarat’s Patan.
“Pakistan used to give nuclear threats. What do we have? Have we kept it for ‘Diwali’? (Warna aay din nuclear button hai, ye kehte the. Hamare paas kya hai? Ye Diwali ke liye rakha hai kya),” the prime minister had said in Barmer.
In Patan, he had stated that after Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was held by Pakistan, a senior American official on the second day said that “Modi has kept 12 missiles ready and might attack and the situation will deteriorate”.
“Pakistan announced return of the pilot or else it was going to be a ‘qatl ki raat’,” the prime minister had said. (PTI)