Congress moves EC against Amit Shah, Himanta Biswa Sarma for poll code violations
A delegation of Congress leaders met chief election commissioner and other election commissioners and presented to them 8 memorandums of poll code violations.
The Congress on Wednesday lodged complaints against Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma with the Election Commission, alleging that their remarks during the Chhattisgarh assembly poll campaign violated the model code of conduct.
A delegation of Congress leaders met the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners, and presented to them eight different memorandums of poll code violations in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
The delegation comprised AICC general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh, party leader Salman Khurshid, AICC state in-charge for Telangana Manikrao Thakre, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Revanth Reddy, former TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and CLP leader (Telangana assembly) Bhatti Vikramarka.
In its complaint against Shah, the Congress told the EC that the home minister claimed in a speech in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon on October 16 that "...Bhupesh Baghel's government, for appeasement politics and vote bank politics, lynched Chhattisgarh's son Bhuneshwar Sahoo and got him killed..."
Shah further said that the BJP had pledged to bring Sahoo's killers to justice and "in his honour, we are fielding his father Ishwar Sahoo as a candidate in the elections", the complaint stated.
The opposition party alleged that these statements and claims are in blatant violation of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The Congress' complaint against Assam Chief Minister Sarma pertained to a speech he delivered in Chhattisgarh's Kawardha on October 18 while campaigning against Congress candidate Mohd Akbar.
In his speech, the Congress alleged, Sarma said, "If one Akbar comes to some place, he calls 100 Akbars. So, send him off as soon as possible, otherwise the land of Mata Kaushalya will get defiled."
The complaint stated that Sarma subsequently levelled allegations against Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, saying, "Today, the tribals of Chhattisgarh, who are dear to us, are being encouraged to convert their religion on a daily basis. And when someone raises their voice against it, Bhupesh Baghel ji says 'we are secular'. Is beating up Hindus your secularism? This country is a country of Hindus and will belong to Hindus. Do not teach us secularism, we do not need to learn secularism from you."
Congress leaders claimed that these statements and claims highlight a clear-cut intention to incite sections of society against one another.
In another complaint, the Congress alleged the central government issued orders directing civil servants and Indian Army soldiers to promote achievements of the BJP dispensation.
"These acts of politicising the conduct of civil servants and Army soldiers violate the model code of conduct and the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964," the party said.
The Congress also submitted a complaint against Govind Singh Rajput, the BJP candidate from Surkhi, Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh.
The party sought his disqualification, alleging that he had publicly stated that he would pay ₹25 lakh to incharges of booths where the maximum number of votes would be cast for the BJP.
The Congress also submitted a complaint against "unlawful" transfer and posting of police officers in Telangana. It claimed these officers were transferred before the completion of two-and-a-half years of their tenure, as mandated by the EC.
It also complained against election duties being assigned to officers in Telangana who publicly support a specific political party.
"The Indian National Congress has consistently highlighted, exposed and documented electoral malpractices and brought them to the attention of the ECI for action and redressal.
"Through this process, the INC has ensured the deletion of lakhs of bogus voters across states, ensured the registration of FIRs against political actors engaging in electoral malpractices, ensured the transfer of officials acting in violation of the law and also secured campaign bans against repeated offenders who flout the law," the Congress said in its memorandum to the poll panel.
Khurshid said as the electoral process begins, "the mudding of the waters by people from other political parties must be immediately curtailed and immediately put to an end".
The Union home minister, the chief minister of Assam and other leaders travelling to different states have taken up "divisive and hurtful" issues that would inevitably divert people's attention from the issues that should be considered important for an election, and cause division and polarisation amongst the voters, he said.
"To have a level playing field and for people to be able to decide fairly and objectively... we hope genuinely that the Election Commission will be able to do something about this," the former union minister said.
Former TPCC chief Reddy said the Congress brought to the EC's notice that elections "have probably become the most corrupt in the state of Telangana from the time this BRS party has come to power".
"We have requested the Election Commission of India to intervene strongly to ensure free and fair elections," he said.
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