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'This is bribery': BJP urges EC to stop Congress' 'Guarantee Cards' campaign

It also sought registration of criminal cases against Congress members distributing the cards.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 14:33 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 14:33 IST

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New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday slammed the Congress' 'Ghar Ghar Guarantee' outreach to people as a "corrupt practice amounting to bribery" and urged the Election Commission to stop the initiative.

The BJP said the initiative was unveiled on April 3 by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and its workers are distributing 'guarantee cards' to households, presenting them application papers for accessing the party's promised benefits.

"To further confound the wrong, the cards bear the promissory signatures of prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress, namely Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, as an official endorsement," stated the BJP's communication to the poll panel.

The ruling party claimed that such an initiative is akin to manipulation of voters' trust and misrepresentation of guarantee cards as legitimate instruments for accessing promised "freebies, largesse and utopian promises"

"Allowing such practices openly contradicts the principles of free and fair elections, and sets a precedent where only registered political supporters may be entitled to government schemes, and not the remaining ones," it said.

Citing the Model Code of Conduct and the Indian Penal Code, the BJP said such a campaign by the opposition party falls under corrupt practices and bribery.

The party told the EC to "immediately restrain the Congress from publishing, disseminating and distributing 'Guarantee Cards' or any such material aimed to promote electoral bribery and inducement of voters".

It also sought registration of criminal cases against Congress members distributing the cards.

The Congress, it alleged, had launched a similar "surrogate campaign" during the Rajasthan assembly polls last year to "bribe and mislead" the voters. The EC had that time taken a "serious view" of the matter, the BJP said.

In another complaint, the BJP urged the poll watchdog to transfer and immediately relieve several "politically-aligned" officers, including the chief secretary and the DGP, in Andhra Pradesh where the assembly polls are being held alongside the Lok Sabha elections.

The party made several other demands for free and fair polls in the southern state.

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Published 16 April 2024, 14:33 IST

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