Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand Assembly elections | EC notice to BJP for tweeting morphed photo of Harish Rawat

File image.

File image.

The Election Commission has issued a notice to the Uttarakhand BJP for alleged violation of the model code and asked it to reply within 24 hours for tweeting a morphed image of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Harish Rawat, in which he has been shown as a Muslim cleric.

The action comes after the Congress complained to the poll body on Friday, alleging that the BJP Uttarakhand from its official Twitter handle on February 3 at 9.34 p.m. tweeted a morphed image of Rawat, wherein he has been falsely depicted as belonging to a particular community.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had spoken to the CEC on February 5 and demanded the registration of an FIR against the BJP, while alleging that it has violated the model code and other provisions of the law, as it seeks to create disharmony on religious grounds between people of diverse faith.

The said tweet has since been removed.

"Whereas, the Commission has carefully considered the matter and is of the considered view that the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] Uttarakhand has in violation of the clauses (I) & (2) laid down in the part 'General Conduct' of the Model Code of Conduct...of Section-123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and sub-section (I)(a) of Section 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code 1860, made statements that are provocative and can seriously incite the emotions and lead to breakdown of law & order situation thereby adversely affecting the election process," the EC said in its notice sent last on February 5.

"Now, therefore, the Commission gives an opportunity to the BJP Uttarakhand to explain its stand on putting the morphed image of Shri Harish Rawat on its official Twitter handle as alleged by AICC," the Commission also said.

The explanation, the EC said, should reach the Commission within 24 hours of receipt of this notice, failing which the Commission shall take appropriate decision in the matter without further reference to BJP Uttarakhand.

Congress leaders Surjewala, Rawat, Devendra Yadav, Ganesh Godiyal and others had through their memorandum demanded that the Commission take necessary and immediate penal action against the BJP, Uttarakhand Unit.

The Congress party has also demanded that the said tweet be taken down immediately and the official Twitter handle of BJP Uttarakhand be suspended till the completion of the Assembly Elections in the State of Uttarakhand. The Congress urged the Election Commission that it is vested with vast powers to ensure a level playing field amongst the political parties during elections and in a healthy and a peace loving democracy, use of religion to create divisiveness and disharmony has always been eschewed by the Commission. "The Commission has upheld the secular spirit of Indian democracy time and again and this tweet seeks to undo that spirit. It is thus submitted that the BJP, Uttarakhand Unit, with a view to create communal disharmony and divide between communities of Uttarakhand has portrayed Shri Harish Rawat ji with a beard and a cap insinuating that he is a Muslim in order to create divisions between communities in the peaceful state of Uttarakhand," the Congress memorandum said.


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2022 5:32:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttarakhand-assembly/uttarakhand-assembly-elections-ec-notice-to-bjp-for-tweeting-morphed-photo-of-harish-rawat/article38387770.ece