Bar Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath from campaigning in Karnataka, Congress urges EC

The delegation alleged that Mr. Shah and Mr. Adityanath made "false", "partisan" and "communal" statements during the poll campaign in Karnataka

April 28, 2023 06:45 pm | Updated 08:19 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of the logo of Election Commission of India (ECI), in New Delhi. File

A view of the logo of Election Commission of India (ECI), in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Congress on April 28 approached the Election Commission to bar Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka for their alleged statements against the minority community.

The move comes just a day after Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s “poisonous snake” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A delegation of senior Congress leaders, including Abhishek Singhvi, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mukul Wasnik, met the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the Election Commissioners to allege that Mr. Shah and Mr. Adityanath made “false, partisan and communal” statements during the Karnataka campaign for electoral gains.

“We have just finished a very productive and important meeting with the EC. We complained specifically about the highly objectionable, blatantly partisan, communal and false statements coming from top BJP leadership, in particular Home Minister Amit Shah and the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister,” Mr. Singhvi said.

“They have made statements clearly against the minority community....We have asked for a ban on campaigning by such persons,” he added.

Legal options

Asked about the ‘vishkanya’ and agent of China and Pakistan remark against former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi by BJP MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal, Mr. Singhvi said the party would utilise all legal options available before it.

“It is a very derogatory and gutter-level remark against Sonia Gandhi.... We will use all legal options including the EC,” he said.

Several senior Congress leaders took to Twitter to mount a scathing attack on Mr. Yatnal and claimed that he made those remarks at the behest of the party’s top leadership.

“Instructed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, BJP leader and Modi ji’s personal favourite Basangouda Patil Yatnal has stooped to the lowest by calling UPA chairperson and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi ‘vishkanya’ and ‘agent of China and Pakistan’,” Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Surjewala, said in a statement.

“Does the PM approve? He should immediately expel Mr. Yatnal and apologise to Ms. Gandhi,” AICC general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh asked on Twitter

Congress general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal tweeted, “Every election, they hurl new abuses to insult Sonia Gandhi ji, who has led her entire life with utmost dignity and grace. BJP continues to stoop to new lows, with their filthy language against our leaders. Modi ji, do you endorse these words? Yadha raja thada Praja (As is the king so are the subjects)”.

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