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IndiaPublic pressure forced EC's hand: Congress on poll watchdog's notice to BJP...

Public pressure forced EC’s hand: Congress on poll watchdog’s notice to BJP president


New Delhi, Apr 25: The Congress on Thursday claimed that public pressure forced the Election Commission’s hand after the poll panel issued notice to BJP president J P Nadda on allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a “divisive speech” in Rajasthan.

The EC is “super, super cautious” when it comes to the prime minister, Congress general secretary in-charge Jairam Ramesh said.

He pointed out that the EC has issued a notice to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on BJP’s complaint against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks and wondered whether this was what the poll body meant by “level playing field”.

“The Election Commission has issued notices to the BJP President for campaign remarks made by the PM, on which the Congress had filed a complaint. At the same time, in virtually identical language, it has issued a notice to the Congress President on remarks made by Shri Rahul Gandhi, on which the BJP had complained,” Ramesh said.

“Is this what the EC means by a ‘level playing field’? It is clear that public pressure, motivated by the PM’s outrageous remarks, have forced the EC’s hand. But did it have to compensate by sending a notice on Rahul Gandhi’s remarks as well?” he said.

By equating the two, the Commission has drawn attention to its own compulsions, Ramesh said.

By any standard, the equivalence is “bizarre” and “completely unwarranted and unjustified”, he said.

“Meanwhile BJP candidates brazenly continue to use religious symbols in their election campaign,” Ramesh said in a post on X.

Earlier, asked about the development at a press conference, Ramesh said, “We had complained to the Election Commission. We brought to their notice that the PM’s language is against the Model Code of Conduct, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and various verdicts of the Supreme Court.”

“There has been a delay, we have also complained about some other candidates misusing religion for votes. We believe that the EC will take action. We will reply to the notice we have got,” he said.




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