ECI bans Randeep Surjewala from campaigning for 48 hours over remarks on Hema Malini

This is the first campaign ban imposed by the poll body in this Lok Sabha election cycle.

Updated - April 17, 2024 02:00 am IST

Published - April 16, 2024 06:42 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala has been banned for 48 hours by the Election Commission of India over his remarks on BJP MP Hema Malini.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala has been banned for 48 hours by the Election Commission of India over his remarks on BJP MP Hema Malini. | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has barred Congress general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, interviews, and from making public utterances in media for a period of 48 hours for his remarks against BJP leader Hema Malini.

The panel also strongly condemned the “impugned statement” made by him and reprimanded him for the misconduct.

The Commission invoked Article 324 of the Constitution that empowers the poll panel for “superintendence, direction, and control of elections” and Clause (2) of the ‘General Conduct’ of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) to bar Mr. Surjewala for two days.

The panel’s order, citing the MCC, said “parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties” and that “nobody should indulge in any activities or make any statements that would amount to attack on personal life of any person or statements that may be malicious or offending decency and morality.”

The panel received a complaint on April 5 that Mr. Surjewala made “sexist, vulgar, and unethical public utterances” against Ms. Malini while campaigning in Haryana.

Mr. Surjewala in response to the Commission’s notice claimed that the video cited by the complainant was a doctored video.

“The Commission is in receipt of the report of DEO Kaithal wherein it is stated that the aforesaid objectionable utterances were made during a speech given by Randeep Singh Surjewala on 31-03-2024 at Faral village of Pundri assembly constituency in the Kaithal district and the entire speech was videogarphed by the video surveillance team deployed by DEO,” the order said adding that the Commission examined the video of the speech submitted by DEO Kaithal and is convinced that Mr. Surjewala has made such a statement, thus violating the provisions of Model Code of Conduct.

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