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EC notice to BJP over Modi’s Banswara speech

In its complaint to the ECI, the Opposition parties accused PM Modi of committing blatant violations of electoral laws, as well as of the Indian Penal Code…reports Asian Lite News

Taking cognisance of the alleged Model Code of Conduct violation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Election Commission of India (ECI), on Thursday, sought a response from the BJP by April 29, on the complaints raised by Congress, CPI and CPI-M(L).

In its complaint to the ECI, the Opposition parties accused PM Modi of committing blatant violations of electoral laws, as well as of the Indian Penal Code, while addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21.

Congress said that the speech delivered by the Prime Minister, the ‘star campaigner’ of BJP for the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections, was “highly objectionable, divisive and ex-facie illegal.”

During the rally, PM Modi had said: “The Congress manifesto says that they will calculate the gold with mothers and sisters, and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom… Manmohan Singh’s government had said that Muslims have the first right on the country’s assets.”

“When their government was in power earlier, they had said that Muslims have the first right on the country’s assets. This means to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed among those who have more children and to the infiltrators. Will your hard-earned money be distributed to the infiltrators and do you really approve of this?” PM Modi had added.

Directing BJP president J. P. Nadda to respond to the complaints by 11 a.m. on April 29, the Election Commission asserted that the role of political parties in an electoral democracy, particularly after the notification of the general elections, is pivotal and hence stands clearly recognised in the formal statutory framework of the Representation of the People Act.

The ECI said that the grant of the status of the ‘star campaigner’ statutorily lies entirely within the realm of the political parties under Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the ‘star campaigners’ are expected to contribute to a higher quality of discourse, inter alia, by way of providing an all-India perspective, which sometimes gets distorted in the heat of the contests at the local level.

Police did not accept complaint: Brinda

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had delivered a hate speech on April 21 in Banswara and despite Supreme Court guidelines, police did not accept the complaint.

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said, “We met the Police Commissioner on the issue of the hate speech given by PM Modi on April 21st in Banswara. We asked the Police Commissioner why an FIR had not been filed. According to the guidelines of the Supreme Court, the police are duty-bound, if there is any hate speech, to lodge an FIR and to take suo moto action on the basis of that FIR. Twice, those guidelines have been issued, first in October 2022 and again in April 2023.”

She further said that despite the guidelines of the Supreme Court, when she went to Mandir Marg Police Station, the police did not accept the complaint.

“When I went to Mandir Marg PS, they didn’t even accept the complaint, let alone an FIR. Police Commissioner agreed that it was wrong and he accepted the complaint but as far as filing an FIR is concerned, the commissioner said he would have to take legal advice. I don’t know what that means because the Supreme Court has given clear instructions to file an FIR and do the investigation,” she added.

She further stated that the police will have to act as per Supreme Court guidelines.

She further added, “The Supreme Court has also said that if police don’t file an FIR, it will be taken as contempt of court. PM is a citizen of India and the law of India applies to him. He is not above or beyond the law. Police will have to act as per Supreme Court guidelines as they would have in any case.”

BJP complains to ECI against Abhishek Banerjee

The BJP’s West Bengal unit on Thursday filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India against Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee accusing him of making abusive remarks against its candidate Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, popularly known as Nirbhaya Didi.

The state BJP unit sent an e-mail complaint to the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). The state unit of BJP has also released a video where Banerjee was heard calling Mitra Chaudhury, party’s candidate from Maladaha-Dakshin in Malda district, as ‘behaya’ (shameless).

“Abhishek Banerjee’s disgusting tirade against Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury, resorting to abusive slurs like ‘BEHAYA’, epitomises the toxic culture of misogyny and disrespect rampant in Bengal. It’s a shameful reflection of his party’s values,” the state unit of BJP said in a statement.

It has also appealed to the poll panel to bar Banerjee from campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls.

However, issuing a counter statement, Trinamool Congress said, “The BJP whose leaders from top to bottom use the most shameful remarks for women, daily, should be the last one to speak on the dignity of the fair sex.”

“Oh, the irony! Those who indulge in gratuitous use of hate speech and attack the only female CM in India in the most foul and derogatory language imaginable are now delivering sermons on ‘Nari Samman,” Trinamool Congress said.

“We’re not taking lectures from degenerates who don’t know the first thing about respectful discourse!” the Trinamool Congress said.

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