Election Commission’s Advice to Rahul Gandhi: Speak Wisely in Public; Congress Leader Called PM ‘Panauti Modi’

The Election Commission has issued an advisory to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi regarding his speeches during election campaigns. During the election period, Rahul has been advised to be more cautious with his words. The matter dates back to November 2023 when Rahul used terms similar to those used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during rallies in Barmer and Vallabhnagar in Rajasthan. He stated, “PM means Panauti Modi” Despite our boys winning the World Cup, they faced a different challenge.”

Following this advisory, the Election Commission counted Rahul’s remarks as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and sought an explanation from him. Around the same time, the Delhi High Court had issued notices to the Election Commission in December 2023 regarding electoral proceedings. The advice given to Rahul follows these directives.

This picture is from 21 November 2023, when Rahul was addressing an election rally in Baytu, Barmer.

Delhi High Court Also Counts Rahul Gandhi’s Remarks as Violation

On December 21, the Delhi High Court also deemed the remarks made by Rahul Gandhi as inappropriate. The court issued a notice to Rahul to make a decision regarding the comments. The court stated that the statements made by Congress leaders during the November 2023 election campaign were not appropriate.

Parties Warned – Maintain Decorum in Campaigning

On Friday, March 1, the Election Commission issued a warning to all political parties regarding the Model Code of Conduct. The Commission emphasized that in the 2024 general elections, political parties must uphold decorum in their public campaigns. It was also stated that strict action will be taken against any violation of the prescribed code of conduct, whether directly or indirectly by parties or their representatives.

The Commission highlighted that parties and candidates should refrain from seeking votes on the basis of caste, religion, or language. Additionally, they were reminded not to mock devotion or sentiments related to gods and religious figures. Campaigning in any religious place, be it a temple, mosque, church, gurudwara, or any other religious site, is strictly prohibited.

Moreover, it was emphasized that candidates or star campaigners who have previously been served notices will face severe consequences if they disregard any instructions this time. Elections for legislative assemblies are scheduled in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim, alongside the Lok Sabha elections.

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Election Commission’s Warning – Do Not Use Children in Campaigning

On February 5, the Election Commission issued a stern warning to all political parties, advising them against using children in any form during election campaigning. The advisory, sent to parties for dissemination, explicitly stated that parties and candidates should exercise zero tolerance towards involving children in the distribution of posters, pamphlets, or any other campaign activities during the electoral process.

Niyati Rao

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