Election Commission to parties: Refrain from remarks that are derogatory to womenhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/election-commission-to-parties-refrain-from-remarks-that-are-derogatory-to-women-5701665/

Election Commission to parties: Refrain from remarks that are derogatory to women

The Commission’s instructions come in the wake of disparaging comments by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan against his Rampur opponent and BJP nominee Jaya Prada.

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On April 15, EC had barred Azam Khan from campaigning for three days for his conduct.

Expressing concern over recent derogatory remarks made against women during poll campaign, the Election Commission (EC) has directed all political parties to advise their leaders against hurting the dignity of women.

The Commission’s instructions come in the wake of disparaging comments by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan against his Rampur opponent and BJP nominee Jaya Prada.

On April 15, EC had barred Khan from campaigning for three days for his conduct.

Khan’s example, however, did not act as an effective deterrent as BJP leader Mahadev Sarkar made offensive and sexist comments against West Bengal MLA and TMC leader Mahua Moitra at a public meeting on April 22. Sarkar, too, was barred from campaigning, but for two days.

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Recently, Swati Maliwal had written to the EC urging the Commission to “urgently” introduce a provision in the Model Code of Conduct to ensure that no party or individual can get away with “gender-based” comments or remarks that “outrage the modesty and integrity of a woman”.

“It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that some political leaders are making various distasteful and derogatory remarks against women. In this connection, your attention is invited to ECI’s letter No. 437/INST/2015-CCS, dated 17.09.2015 addressed to the President/General Secretary of all recognised national and state political parties, wherein, it was advised the political parties and candidates to refrain from an deed/action/utterances that may be construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women,” states the poll panel’s instruction received by all political parties on Monday.

“Senior leaders of all political parties are requested to accordingly sensitise their members,” the instruction further states.