EC failed to act against Modi, Shah: Cong MP to SC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah. PTI File photo

Congress MP Sushmita Dev on Tuesday contended before the Supreme Court that the Election Commission has failed to act against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for their "hate speeches", though it initiated actions against others for similar offensive statements during the campaign.

She named leaders like Pragya Singh Thakur, Ajay Singh Bisht (Yogi Adityanath), Maneka Gandhi, and Mayawati, who faced EC's wrath for their statements made in similar "tone, tenor, meaning, purport and intentions".

Stepping up further pressure, Dev, Silchar MP, informed the top court that the Congress party has filed another complaint against Modi for his "unfortunate and unbecoming" statement describing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as "the corrupt number 1". She called the remark made in a public rally in Pratapgarh as "unprecedented, obscene and derogatory".

Bringing on record the poll watchdog's clean chit to the duo on as many as 11 complaints, she claimed, "Modi and Shah blatantly promote disharmony and feelings of enmity on the grounds of religion."

She contended the EC failed to appreciate that such acts were also likely to prejudice the maintenance of public harmony and tranquillity between religious communities.

The speeches by Modi and Shah were covered as "corrupt practices" under Section 123 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and even amounted to an offence under Section 153 A of the IPC, she claimed.

In cases of complaints against Modi for Wardha speech, there was an inexplicable delay of 25 days, for Latur speech after 19 days and against Shah's statement at Nagpur, the order was passed after 18 days. No reasoned and speaking orders were passed, she complained.

Besides, she said "the dissent reported and given by one of the Election Commissioners is not provided along with the order. This demonstrates a complete lack of transparency and arbitrariness of the decision-making process on complaints against Modi and Shah."

Her affidavit was filed as the top court had on Monday allowed her to bring on record the EC's orders on complaints filed by her party against Modi and Shah for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

The top court is to take up her writ petition for consideration on Wednesday.

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