The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday shot off a letter to the Election Commission, demanding action against Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath for “seeking to divide the voters along communal lines”. The BJP urged the poll watchdog to take action against Nath and the Congress under the Representation of People Act, which bars seeking votes in the name of religion.
In its complaint to the EC, BJP referred to a purported video in which the state Congress chief, in an address, appealed to Muslim voters to mobilise 90 per cent votes for Congress in “Muslim” booths. “Kamal Nath is clearly appealing to voters on the basis of religious denomination, which goes against the spirit of free and fair elections,” the memorandum, submitted by Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and S S Ahluwalia besides Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni, said.
Congress has so far not commented on the authenticity of the video.
A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met Election Commission in Delhi today requesting EC to take legal action against Congress for violating model code of conduct & for inciting religious & sentiments by appealing to a particular religious community pic.twitter.com/166iYthuzG
— ANI (@ANI) November 21, 2018
The saffron party also sought brought to the poll watchdog’s notice a violation committed by a news channel regarding “paid opinion polls”. The letter claimed that an opinion poll broadcast by India News Channel on November 18 violated the EC’s guidelines that bar telecast of any opinion or exit poll until voting is over after the model code comes into effect.
“In gross violation, The India News Channel has published and broadcasted the C-Fore opinion poll on November 18 and have thus committed offences under the provision of electoral laws, including the model code of conduct, at the behest of Congress as paid news,” BJP mentioned in the letter.
Further, the BJP also complained that Nath had made several promises to Anganwadi and mid-day meal workers on November 18 despite there being no such declaration in the Congress manifesto. “Such a declaration tantamounts to corrupt practice and inducement under Representation of Peoples Act 1951,” the party said.
In a tweet last week, Nath had promised Anganwadi workers in MP would be regularised and the wages of mid-day meal workers would also be raised. He also promised that outstanding loans of Self Help groups would be waived off.
“This is a case of Congress spicing up its secularism with communalism. It sports a ’tilak’ on the road and wears a cap in private,” PTI quoted Naqvi as saying.