PMO using state machinery to collect funds for BJP: Report

New Delhi: In a clear violation of the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) reportedly misused government machinery to collect funds for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a report alleges. The Quint on Monday alleged that an official mail from the PMO contained a link to BJP’s fundraiser campaign.

The report states that an email blast was sent from ‘noreply@samprak.gov.in’ with the subject—“Rajmata was a decisive leader & skilled administrator, says PM; People in rural India get ownership rights of their homes…More in the newsletter!” At the end of the newsletter which contained seven articles on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s progressive work, was an advertisement saying “Support those who put India first. Support BJP through Micro-donations.”

The advertisement was later redirected to the fundraiser page which read: “Your contribution is a great way to express support to the BJP. It will enhance the determination of lakhs of ‘karyakartas’ towards building a New India.” The options for donations ranged from Rs.5 to Rs.1000.

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The BJP’s fundraiser that was included in the official newsletter from the PMO. Picture Credit: The Quint

How is this violation of EC’s Model Code of Conduct?

With the release of the notification for the Bihar Elections on September 25, the EC’s Model Code of Conduct (or MCC) came into force – a Code with clear instructions to political parties on all do’s and don’t’s during an election.

Chapter 7 of the MCC is on ‘Party in Power’ where it clearly says and I quote “Government transport including official aircraft, vehicles, machinery and personnel shall not be used for furtherance of the interest of the party in power.”

Since the sampark.gov.in email was sent by the PMO on October 21, when the Code was in effect in Bihar, it is indeed a case of MCC violation, The Quint mentioned in its article.

Several legal and constitutional experts confirmed the violation and that it threatens the election process.

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