The Congress on Monday moved the Election Commission against BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for violation of the model code of conduct. It also demanded that in view of the repeated violations of the code by leaders of the party, including Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, its recognition as a “national party” be withdrawn.
The petition has been moved by the Secretary of the Legal and Human Rights Department of All India Congress Committee K.C. Mittal and in the complaint he has quoted Mr. Modi’s speeches in Bemetara, Raipur and Durg to illustrate how foul and offensive language was used against the Congress leaders.
In the speech at Bemetara, he quoted Mr. Modi as saying, “I want to ask the shehzada (prince), he is saying we gave this money, we gave this money, did the money come from his maternal uncle’s house?” In Durg Mr. Modi had noted that when on the borders the heads of the soldiers are being decapitated, should the Government answer or not. Modi said, “China enters Indian territory, should that be answered or not, they are not answering on even a single issue.”
At Raipur, the complaint said Mr. Modi accused the Congress of being a bahurupiya or multi-faced entity as it changed its name repeatedly while its intent remained the same.
Stating that Clause (2) of Para 1 of “General Conduct” of the model code of conduct specifically prohibits the political parties and candidates from criticising all aspects of the private life of leaders or other parties, Mr. Mittal also charged that while addressing these public rallies, Mr. Modi had made personal remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi which were “derogatory and uncivilized.”
The Congress complaint further said the clause also provides for the political parties to avoid distortion or criticism of other political parties on unverified allegations, but alleged that Mr. Modi had “been wilfully flouting and making statements in utter disregard and defiance of the model code of conduct.”
It also drew the attention of Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath and Election Commissioners H.S. Brahma and Dr. Nasim Zaidi to a television interview of Ms. Swaraj in which she had allegedly made “personal remarks and criticised Rahul Gandhi by stating that “he is confused.”
The party said it was reluctant to complain to the Commission but did so as it found Mr. Modi and other BJP leaders “incorrigible.”
“They are habitual of violating the model code of conduct repeatedly,” it said, demanding appropriate action in the matter.