BJP, Congress presidents have replied to notice on MCC violation by PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi: Election Commission

Action on complaints is still under consideration, the poll panel says

Updated - May 14, 2024 11:04 pm IST

Published - May 14, 2024 08:35 pm IST - New Delhi

The Election Commission of India in New Delhi. File

The Election Commission of India in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday said both BJP and Congress presidents responded to notices issued to them on Model Code of Conduct violations by their star campaigners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, respectively. Appropriate action on the complaints and counter complaints was still under the consideration of the Commission, the poll body said.

In a statement listing the steps taken to address the MCC violations since March 16, the EC said that approximately 425 major complaints, excluding canvassing-related or clarificatory complaints, had been filed by various political parties and candidates at the level of EC and Chief Electoral Officers (CEO).

Of these, action had been taken (or matter disposed) in 400 cases. While the Congress had filed approximately 170 complaints, the BJP’s number was 95; around 160 complaints were received from beyond these two parties. Most of these complaints have been acted upon, it said.

The commission said that a few complaints of Congress and the BJP against each other were pending, alleging violation of MCC in the genre of divisive statements by star campaigners on communal, caste, and regional language divide, or on sanctity of Constitution of India.

“In the past, the Commission has been issuing notices to individual leaders who had committed violations of MCC. Commission has adopted a new course with its advisory dated March 1, 2024 to party presidents/chairpersons/General Secretaries of all recognised political parties urging them to ask their leaders/candidates/star campaigners not to make speeches/utterances which are in direct or indirect violation of MCC”.

Also Read | Bulk WhatsApp messages with PM letter MCC violation, says Congress

In a first, the commission had on April 25 issued a notice for violation based on the complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, taking a circuitous route, the notice was sent to BJP president J.P. Nadda, and not to Mr. Modi. The notice failed to eve mention the name of the Prime Minister. The complaints attached to the notice, however, were those of the Congress against Mr. Modi’s “malicious election speech delivered at Banswara (Rajasthan)”, along with complaints from other parties, such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

A similar notice was served to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, regarding complaints against him and Rahul Gandhi.

“Response from both parties has been received and appropriate action on complaints or counter complaints is under examination or consideration of the Commission,” the poll body statement on Tuesday said.

The EC also said that the Lok Sabha election campaign by various parties and candidates at the constituency level has “largely remained violence free, less noisy, less cluttered and intrusive, free of inducement and ostentatiousness”.

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