New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on Tuesday a Congress petition which claimed that the Election Commission had refused to take action on a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for allegedly making “hate speeches” and “using” armed forces for “political propaganda” during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress alleged that the silence of the EC was an indirect endorsement of the violation of the election Model Code of Conduct.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, agreed to hear the petition on Tuesday after it was urgently mentioned by senior advocate A.M. Singhvi and advocate Sunil Fernandes.
The 146-page petition was filed by Sushmita Dev, Congress candidate from Assam’s Silchar Lok Sabha constituency.
In the petition, the Congress alleged that the rules and regulations inscribed in the Model Code of Conduct were not meant for the Prime Minister and his party President but applicable only on other candidates.
“It is in public domain that they have indulged in hate speeches, repeatedly used the armed forces for political propaganda, despite a clear prohibition on the same by the EC,” said the petition.
The petition said that the delay of more than 3 weeks in decision-making or the absence of a decision were, in fact, decisions in themselves.
The Congress said 40 representations on violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) were brought to the notice of the EC so far, but it did not generate any action.
“It would not be overstating that inaction by the Respondents is a tacit endorsement of the statements and clean chit to the individuals whose statements and actions are ex facie in violation of the provisions of the RP Act and the Election Rules 1961 including the MCC,” contended the Congress.
The petition alleged that since March 10, after the notification for the elections was issued, Modi and Shah had “violated” the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the election rules.
The petition cited the recent temporary ban on campaigning imposed on BSP leader Mayawati for violating the MCC and equated “lack of action” against Modi and Shah equivalent to providing a platform to gain political mileage.
“…(it) demonstrates abdication and indecision and a complete absence of justice, in ensuring a level playing field in ensuing General Elections for the Lok Sabha,” the petitioner argued.
The petition cited the Prime Minister’s rally held on April 23, the day of polling in Gujarat.
“…despite being the Constitutional watchdog for ensuring free and fair elections, (the EC) has become a tool in the hands of the dispensation to facilitate violation of the provisions of the Constitution, the provisions of the Act and the Rules,” the petition alleged.
The petition also cited the PM’s comment on Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s choice of Wayanad as “a seat where the minority is majority”.
It also alleged that Modi was “seeking votes” in the names of the CRPF soldiers killed in the terror attack in Pulwama in Kashmir.