Party Accountability for Star Campaigners: EC Notices on Modi-Rahul Speeches, Hate Speech Allegations; BJP-Congress Respond

After raising objections to the statements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the Election Commission has taken cognizance. Allegations of violating the Model Code of Conduct have prompted the Commission to send notices to both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress, demanding explanations.

Accusations have been levied against both parties for inciting hatred and dividing communities on the basis of religion, caste, community, and language by their senior leaders. Both parties have been instructed to submit their responses by the morning of April 29th.

Two Perspectives on Election Commission’s Action

  1. The Election Commission has invoked Article 77 of the Representation of the People Act, which mandates responses from the leaders of both parties. It’s worth noting that Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge had accused PM Modi, while BJP President JP Nadda had alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct against Rahul Gandhi.
  2. The Commission’s stance underscores that political parties will be held fully responsible for the conduct of their candidates, particularly high-profile campaigners. Speeches by leaders at high-level rallies can have significant consequences, thus requiring careful consideration and accountability.

Complaints Against Modi and Rahul: Divergent Allegations

BJP’s Complaint: The party has accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of making false claims to increase poverty in the country, exacerbating regional divides based on language. They demand stringent action against him.

Congress’s Complaint: The party filed a complaint against PM Modi’s plea for ‘distribution of wealth’, labeling it divisive, ill-intentioned, and targeting specific communities. They perceive it as highly alarming. Jairam Ramesh stated that they had lodged the complaint with the Election Commission. He emphasized BJP’s misuse of religion, labeling it as malicious. They will provide a response to this notice.

Notices Over Modi-Rahul Speeches

Modi’s Statement on Congress:

PM Narendra Modi’s remarks in Banswara sparked a notice from the Election Commission. He stated that if Congress comes to power, it will distribute the nation’s wealth among Muslims. 

Modi also referenced former PM Manmohan Singh’s statement that minorities have the first right on the country’s resources. 

The Congress and the CPI(M) filed separate complaints with the Election Commission against Modi’s plea for ‘distribution of wealth’. Congress labeled it divisive and targeting specific communities.

Rahul’s Assertion on Poverty:

During his election campaigning, Rahul Gandhi made varied claims about increasing poverty. On April 11th in Rajasthan’s Bikaner, he stated that out of India’s 70 crore people, 22 crore are rich. 

He also asserted that if his government comes to power, poverty will be eradicated in one stroke. BJP referred to the Election Commission’s report, stating that during Modi’s tenure, almost 25 crore people moved above the poverty line. 

In this context, Rahul’s claims about poverty escalation were deemed inaccurate.

Niyati Rao

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