Days ahead of the Greater Hyderabad civic polls, the Telangana state election commission has warned political parties against making personal attacks on rival candidates. The warning comes amid a high-decibel battle for the civic body’s council, with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Bharatiya Janata Party making accusations against each other.
The poll body, in a press note, said it had noticed several leaders indulging in personal criticism, based on unverified facts, while electioneering. “Such personal criticism triggers chain reaction and vitiates electioneering which should be carried on in an atmosphere of restraint,” said M Ashok Kumar, secretary, SEC.
As per paragraph 4 and 5 of the Model Code of Conduct of the State Election Commission, “no criticism of any aspect of candidate’s private life which is not connected with his public life shall be made nor any allegation be made which are based on unverified facts or incidents.”
The commission also reminded political parties that “criticism of a political party, when made, shall be confined to its policies and programmes, past record and works and shall not be based on unverified allegations.”
Seeking cooperation of all political parties in this regard, the commission also warned that “any violation of the above provisions of the Model Code of Conduct will be viewed seriously.”
Meanwhile, DGP M Mahendar Reddy said all political speeches were being monitored, and has assured action after seeking legal opinion.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had earlier on Wednesday directed the police to take stern action against “certain anarchic forces, which are out of deep despair and disappointment trying to create clashes and incite communal tensions in the state”. He said the government has definitive information about these anarchic elements and declared that the police were given a free-hand to deal with the anti-social elements in the state.
The DGP, while address media on Thursday, said some people were trying to create communal tension while taking advantage of GHMC elections. “We are on high alert. Police are constantly watching the social media, to identify objectionable messages, which can lead to breach of peace,” he said.
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