Why didn’t Election Commission object when BJP distributed Mahtari Vandan forms in Chhattisgarh, asks Congress

EC order came on Thursday on a complaint by the BJP, which alleged that the Congress’ ‘Ghar Ghar Guarantee’ outreach to people was a “corrupt practice amounting to bribery”

May 03, 2024 11:11 pm | Updated May 04, 2024 12:22 am IST - RAIPUR

Congress leader Gurdeep Singh Sappal speaks to the media. File.

Congress leader Gurdeep Singh Sappal speaks to the media. File. | Photo Credit: ANI

A day after the Election Commission (EC) issued a directive against political parties enrolling or registering voters for post-election beneficiary-oriented schemes, the Congress called the move unfortunate, while questioning the BJP for employing a similar tactic in its victorious campaign in 2023 Assembly election in Chhattisgarh.  

The EC order came on Thursday following a complaint by the BJP, which alleged that the Congress’s ‘Ghar Ghar Guarantee’ outreach to people was a “corrupt practice amounting to bribery”, and urged the poll body to put a stop to it. 

“Yesterday, the Election Commission directed that you cannot distribute your guarantee card and also said that the words ‘guarantee’ and ‘card’ will not be used. And this is the same Election Commission, which did not object when people of the Bharatiya Janata Party had filled forms under Mahtari Vandan Yojana [and distributed in 2023] in Chhattisgarh. Why did the EC not have any objection then?” asked Congress national spokesperson Gurdeep Singh Sappal responding to a question at a press conference held here. 

He was referring to the cash assistance scheme for eligible married women in Chhattisgarh. Ahead of last year’s Assembly election, the BJP workers had gone door to door identifying potential beneficiaries of the Mahtari Vandan Yojana.

Mr. Sappal also said that the BJP was using Modi ki Guarantee [Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guarantee] in its manifesto. He added that the Congress appealed to the EC to allow the Congress to fill forms like it had allowed the BJP election after election. 

He said the BJP had a problem with the Congress’s use of the word ‘guarantee’ as the party fulfilled its promises in States where it won.  “And they know that people’s trust is now on the guarantee of the Congress, not on the guarantee of Modi ji. The public has now accepted his guarantee as a Chinese guarantee. No matter what, the guarantee no longer applies,” he said.

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