A day after being issued a notice by the apex child rights body, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Friday clarified that she had stopped children from raising wrong slogans and asked them to raise good slogans. “The children were playing among themselves. When I got down to meet them, they raised some slogans. As soon as they raised wrong slogans, I stopped them and told them to raise good slogans instead,” Vadra was quoted as saying by PTI.
On Thursday evening, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had served a notice to Priyanka over alleged use of children in the election campaign. The Commission had asked her the names and addresses of the children and details of the site where the video was shot and how the children were taken there.
Priyanka acknowledged that the notice had come and said a video of the incident was in the public domain.
In the clip, the children are seen using derogatory terms against Modi before Priyanka interjects and asking them not to. However, a clipped version of the same video that edited out Gandhi’s actions was shared by several Twitter handles later.
The child rights body asked the Election Commission to take action with regard to the video. The NCPCR letter to the EC states it had received a complaint and a video link “in which children are actively participating in election campaigning”
It added that “the children can be seen making derogatory remarks and using abusive language in the presence of Congress General Secretary Smt. Priyanka Gandhi”. Citing the poll panel’s directives of 2014 and 2017, which prevented children from participating in election-related activities, the letter asked the EC for action. The EC’s orders were based on recommendations made by the child rights body and a decision of the Bombay High court, the letter added.
The video had invoked a sharp reaction from Union minister Smriti Irani. She criticised Gandhi saying “cultured families should keep their children away from such a person”.
With PTI inputs