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Congress to Election Commission: PM, BJP using children in Gujarat poll campaign

The party had earlier filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights after the BJP put out on its social media handles a video of a young girl sitting with Prime Minister Modi and speaking in Gujarati about the BJP's governance record.

delhi news, delhi mcd, polls news, indian expressThe State Election Commission has written to the MCD to make arrangements for 1,200 more staff members/presiding officers and staff for smooth conduct of the elections. (File)

THE CONGRESS on Friday approached the Election Commission demanding action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for allegedly using children for their political campaign in the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly polls.

The party had earlier filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights after the BJP put out on its social media handles a video of a young girl sitting with Prime Minister Modi and speaking in Gujarati about the BJP’s governance record.

The Congress move was interesting as the Election Commission had some weeks ago issued a notice to the party after the NCPCR approached it seeking action and an inquiry into a complaint against the party and its leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly “misusing children as political tools” in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“We are very deeply concerned about children being exploited and being used for election campaigns in Gujarat. We have produced videos that lots of people have seen; it has been widely made viral. We have produced those videos before the Election Commission and we have given a written complaint that the Election Commission itself has very clearly observed several times, that children must not be used in campaigns, they must not be exploited in campaigns and yet, this is happening,” said senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

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“How can it be that the Election Commission takes the clear view and yet it is ignored in the election campaign, we have brought this to their attention. They promised us that they will examine it very closely, scrutinize it and they will take appropriate action,” said Khurshid, who met the poll panel along with party MPs Naseer Hussain, Rajani Patil and Ranjeet Ranjan.

Pointing out that the Congress delegation has highlighted the “PM’s misuse of children for campaign purposes”, AICC general secretary in charge of communication Jairam Ramesh said, “The ECI has assured us that action shall be taken. We also hope against hope that the NCPCR finds its spine somehow and issues a notice to the PM.”

First published on: 25-11-2022 at 23:03 IST
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