23 such complaints have reached the chief electoral officer.
Bhopal: Politicians have many tricks up their sleeve to get around model code of conduct enforced during election time.
The Election Commission has prohibited political parties from using the occasion of Navratri, being celebrated currently, as a platform to campaign for the November 28 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh. However, the prospective candidates from different political parties have roped in their wives to canvass for them during the nine-day festival in their respective areas to escape the EC’s wrath.
Wives of political leaders of both ruling BJP and opposition Congress were seen hosting religious programmes at different Durga puja pandals erected in their respective areas to celebrate the Navratri.
“We have received several complaints alleging that some politicians were hosting various religious programmes on the occasion of Navratri by proxy through their wives violating model code of conduct enforced since October six when poll schedules for the state were announced.
“We have asked the returning officers concerned to probe into the complaints and submit reports to the chief electoral officer (CEO) here”, a senior officer of CEO’s office told this newspaper on Friday requesting not to be quoted.
As many as 23 such complaints have reached the CEO here, he added.
Those who were trying to get around the model code of conduct by deploying their spouses to campaign for them on the occasion included at least a couple of ministers of Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, sources said.
Interestingly, complaints by the politicians resenting the EC rule barring them from presiding over religious functions being organised on the occasion have also reached the CEO.
“No one including politicians can be barred from participating in festivals. It does not necessarily mean that a politician participates in the religious festivals to further his political interests”, Congress spokesman here Pankaj Chaturvedy said.
A BJP spokesman also said the EC must review the rules in this regard.