THE Congress on Saturday submitted a petition to the Election Commission, requesting it to monitor and video-record campaign-related activities of persons and organisations that are religious in nature and “use religious sentiments of people” for electoral gains.
“It is no secret that Mr. Modi is a diehard RSS pracharak and the manner in which all religious institutions and persons are involved in the election campaign… is a gross violation of the Constitution of India and the provisions of MCC,” the petition said.
The Congress demanded the poll panel to monitor and check in each constituency, the “activities and movements, relating to election campaign by all such persons/organisations/groups/associations”. The petition appreciated the EC’s decision to ban BJP leader Amit Shah and SP leader Azam Khan from addressing public meetings for making inflammatory speeches.
In addition, the petition demanded that activities that “arouse religious or community feeling to seek vote or campaign in the name of religion, caste or community, directly or indirectly” be booked under relevant laws and be “banned”. “Special observers, in each constituency may be deputed to ascertain the actual expenditure incurred by the office bearers, Leaders, Saints, Guru, Acharya and people holding posts of similar nature,” it said.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.