A day after the Election Commission (EC) “advised” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to be “more careful” in future references to the armed forces in his poll campaign speeches for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned the poll body for letting off Yogi with a light rap. “Has the MCC now become ‘Modi Code of Conduct’,” asked Surjewala. Adityanath had stirred controversy for calling the Indian Army “Modiji ki Sena”.
Sharing The Indian Express story, Surjewala tweeted: “The Uttar Pradesh chief minister “insults” the Indian Army and the poll body writes a “love letter” to him.”
Talking about NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar criticising Congress proposed minimum income scheme NYAY (Nyunatam Aay Yojana), Surjewala said, “NITI Aayog VC criticises the NYAY scheme and EC says “don’t do it in future”.
क्या MCC अब बन गया है –
‘Modi Code of Conduct’
आदित्यनाथ भारतीय सेना का अपमान करते है – EC उन्हें ‘प्रेम पत्र’ लिखता है।
नीति आयोग VC न्याय योजना को कोसते हैं – EC कहता है ‘आगे से मत करें’।
चुनाव आयोग ‘सतासीन ताक़तों को सच्चाई का आईना’ दिखाने से घबरा क्यों रहा है? pic.twitter.com/SbSPe5SeEW
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 6, 2019
The opposition party also came down hard on the EC communication to NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, saying he criticised the party’s proposed minimum income scheme NYAY and the poll body told him “don’t do it in future”. “Why is the Election Commission shying away from showing the mirror of truth to those in power,” Surjewala asked.
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The poll watchdog’s remarks had come a day after the BJP leader was served a showcause notice. The EC had asked Adityanath to file a reply by April 5. Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer had sought a transcript of the speech Adityanath delivered at a rally in Ghaziabad on March 31. The poll body had said that the replies to notices on violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Adityanath and Kumar were unsatisfactory,
The UP CM, in his reply submitted to the Commission Friday, had defended his remark made at a rally in Ghaziabad on March 31 saying that by “Modiji ki Sena” he meant the country’s army. He said he had done nothing wrong since the President, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, acts on the advice of the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and, hence his remark was another way of saying the Indian Army.
While referring to developments after the Pulwama terror attack, Adityanath had said during the Ghaziabad rally that while the Congress used to feed biryani to terrorists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Army gives bullets and bombs to terrorists. The Commission, in its order, observed that the remark violated its instructions to political parties to not use activities of the armed forces for political gains.
Reacting to Adityanath’s remark, Union Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) V K Singh had said the armed forces do not belong to any political party and anyone who makes such comments is a traitor to the country. “If someone says that the Indian Army is Modi’s army, then he is not only wrong but also a traitor to the country. India’s Army belongs to the country, it does not belong to a political party,” Singh had told the BBC.