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EC gives clean chit to Modi’s Wardha speech

Published : May 1, 2019, 1:47 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2019, 1:47 am IST

Modi, at Wardha on April 1, had also allegedly raised the issue of “bhagva aatankwad” (saffron terror).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: ANI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a complaint alleging violation of model code of conduct (MCC) by him at Maharashtra’s Wardha earlier this month where he had slammed Rahul Gandhi, without naming him, for contesting from Kerala’s Muslim-dominated Wayanad seat, besides his traditional seat in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi.

While referring to Mr Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wardha, Mr Modi had said the party was taking “refuge in areas where majority is in minority”, a remark that had prompted the Congress to file complaints in the EC and the Supreme Court.

“Leaders of that party are now scared of contesting from constituencies dominated by majority (Hindu) population. That is why they are forced to take refuge in places where the majority is in a minority,” Mr Modi had said.

The clean chit to the Prime Minister was given by the full commission. Sources said this was the full commission’s first deliberation since April 5 on the alleged violation of the MCC.

Mr Modi, at Wardha on April 1, had also allegedly raised the issue of “bhagva aatankwad” (saffron terror).

“How can the Congress be forgiven for insulting the Hindus in front of the world? Weren’t you hurt when you heard the word ‘Hindu terror’? How can a community known for peace, brotherhood and harmony be linked with terrorism? In the thousand years of history, not a single incident shows an act of Hindu terrorism. Even the British historians could never find it,” Mr Modi had said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court asked the EC to decide on the representations submitted by EC gives clean chit to Modi’s Wardha speech the Congress seeking action against Mr Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for MCC violations through their alleged hate speeches and use of the armed forces for “political propaganda”.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi fixed the matter’s next hearing on May 2 and gave a free hand to the EC to pass orders on the complaint filed by Sushmita Dev, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Silchar in Assam and president of the All India Mahila Congress.

Ms Dev alleged that “inaction” by EC on complaints against top BJP leaders was “a sign of invidious discrimination” as also “arbitrary, capricious and impermissible” as it was destructive of the integrity of electoral process.

“It will be open for the EC to pass necessary/appropriate orders on the representation of the petitioner. The matter will be heard on May 2,” said the bench, which also included Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph.
while issuing notice to the poll panel to seek its response to Ms Dev’s plea.

The plea doubting EC fairplay came up for hearing barely two weeks after the top court expressed satisfaction over the poll panel’s action against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP supremo Mayawati, SP leader Azam Khan and others for allegedly making hate speeches during poll campaign.

The petitioner said that the Congress has led verifiable evidence on the MCC violation by Mr Modi and Mr Shah by delivering hate speeches and invoking the armed forces in their campaigning despite a clear ban by the EC.

“The lack of decision despite cogent evidences and representations to the EC demonstrates abdication and indecision and a complete absence of justice, in ensuring a level playing field in ensuing Lok Sabha polls,” said Ms Dev.

The plea listed several alleged instances of MCC violations by Mr Modi and Mr Shah in their meetings and referred to as the first violation the speech of Mr Modi, including his Wardha speech.

Tags: election commission, narendra modi