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EC advises Kamal Nath not to use words like ‘item’ again

Published - October 27, 2020 02:20 am IST - NEW DELHI

Issues notices to BJP leader Vijayvargiya and a Congress leader for code violation

Kamal Nath. File Photo.

The Election Commission on Monday found that former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath had violated its 2019 advisory to politicians to refrain from any speech or action against the dignity of women when he referred to BJP candidate and Minister Imarti Devi as an ‘item’ while campaigning for the byelections in Dabra, Gwalior, on October 18.

The EC advised Mr. Nath not to use such language while the Model Code of Conduct was in force, according to the order. It had issued a notice to Mr. Nath on October 21 for his statement on Ms. Devi.

The EC order quoted Mr. Nath’s response to the notice as saying the comments were not pre-meditated or meant to dishonour a woman.

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“It was an admonition of the political scenario which is replete with drama. There was no malice or intent to disrespect a lady,” he said, adding that he had expressed regret the day after the speech.

Citing his experience of 40 years as an MP, Union Minister and Chief Minister, he said: “The hubris of electioneering cannot and must not ignore the life record of an individual.”

The EC found that Mr. Nath had violated its April 29, 2019 advisory and advised him not to use such words.

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The EC also issued notices for alleged MCC violations to BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya and Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma. Mr. Vijayvargiya had referred to Mr. Nath and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh as “chunnu-munnu” during a rally in Sanwer, Indore on October 14, while Mr. Verma called Mr. Vijayvargiya ‘raavan’ at a rally there the next day. Both leaders were given 48 hours to respond.

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