BJP files complaints against Gandhis for social media ‘campaigns’ on the day of election

The Bharatiya Janata Party called on the Election Commission to request the suspension of the Congress leaders’ social media accounts and to take additional actions against them

November 25, 2023 10:17 pm | Updated November 26, 2023 08:43 am IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a Congress rally.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a Congress rally. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has filed separate complaints against Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with the Election Commission of India for allegedly violating “48 hours silence zone” for campaigning by posts on social media platforms to “influence voters”. The ruling party urged the poll panel to take action against both the leaders under relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The BJP said in the complaints that both Mr. Gandhi and Ms. Vadra demonstrated “incorrigible electoral behaviour” by repeatedly violating the law and the model code of conduct. The party urged the Commission to direct social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to immediately suspend the accounts of both the leaders, and remove their statements alluring voters on the day of polling as it violates the 48 hour “silence zone”. The BJP alleged that this can “cause irreparable injury to the doctrine of free and fair elections”. The party also asked the panel to direct the Chief Election Officer Rajasthan to file criminal complaints against Ms. Vadra and Mr. Gandhi.

The tweets by the Congress leaders promising implementation of schemes for free medical treatment, cheaper gas cylinders, procurement of cow dung, restoring old pension scheme and making housing a right have irked the BJP. Citing these promises, the Congress sought vote in Rajasthan through the social media post.

The BJP reminded the Election Commission that it had reiterated recently that the TV/Radio channels and cable networks/internet website/social media platforms should ensure that the contents of the programmes telecast/broadcast/displayed by them during the period of 48 hours referred to in Section 126 do not contain any material, that may be construed as promoting/ prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate(s) or influencing/affecting the result of the election. “This constitutes a serious violation of law by star campaigner of the Congress party. Such an audacious act on the date of voting deserves to be handled strongly by the Commission and stern punitive action should be taken urgently against the delinquent,” the complaint said.

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