‘EC’s capitulation obvious’: Rahul Gandhi taunts poll panel over PM Modi’s Kedarnath visithttps://indianexpress.com/elections/narendra-modi-kedarnath-shrine-congress-rahul-gandhi-election-commission-5736221/

‘EC’s capitulation obvious’: Rahul Gandhi taunts poll panel over PM Modi’s Kedarnath visit

Taking to Twitter to lash out at the poll panel, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said the commission is no longer "feared and respected" as earlier.

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Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (File)

The political storm over Narendra Modi’s visit to Kedarnath shrine escalated on Sunday with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi taking a swipe at the Election Commission, saying the poll watchdog’s “capitulation before the Prime Minister and his gang is obvious to all Indians”.

Taking to Twitter to lash out at the poll panel, the Congress leader said the commission is no longer “feared and respected” as earlier. “From Electoral Bonds and EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, ‘Modi’s Army’ and now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi and his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore,” he said.

Besides Gandhi, former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also slammed the poll panel for “sleeping on the job”. “Polling is over. Now we can say that the ‘pilgrimage’ of the PM in the last two days is an unacceptable use of religion and religious symbols to influence the voting,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.

“Our charge had been that the EC was sleeping on the job. Now, we can go further and say that the EC completely surrendered its independence and authority. Shame!” the former finance minister added.

The Prime Minister kicked up a controversy on Saturday after he visited the Kedarnath shrine, a day before the last phase of polling. The Trinamool Congress also wrote to the poll panel terming it as an “unethical” visit and the subsequent media coverage as “gross violation” of the Model Code of Conduct.

Similarly, opposition leader and TDP chief N Chandrababu claimed that “continuous” telecast of Modi’s “private activities” at Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines is a violation of the poll code and should be stopped.