The Election Commission has served notice on Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal for an alleged violation of the model code of conduct in Amethi on May 2. He has been asked to given an explanation by May 13. The late response of the commission has come at a time when some political parties have stepped up their offensive against it for allegedly being slow and at times biased.
The Commission quoted a line from a speech made by Mr. Kejriwal in Amethi: “Even if you cast a single vote for either the Congress or the BJP, then you are betraying God and the country.” Kumar Vishwas is the AAP candidate from the constituency, which is regarded as a Gandhi family bastion. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been representing Amethi in the Lok Sabha since 2004. Actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani is the BJP candidate.
The BJP has been alleging that the commission has been slow in taking note of complaints against Mr. Gandhi. The commission waited till May 9 to act against him for his alleged remarks at an election rally in Himachal Pradesh on May 1 that some foreign investors are worried that if the BJP comes to power, 22,000 people will be killed, the BJP said.
Similarly, over a week after it sought a report from the Faizabad Returning Officer on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, invoking the name of Lord Ram and speaking from a dais decorated with the image of the god, there is no word yet from the commission on what it intends to do.
Officials in the commission are not willing to say anything beyond the refrain that it follows a prescribed procedure on investigation of all complaints. “We cannot act in haste without hearing all sides,” an official said.