-Claim EC inactive over complaints against BJP
-Say Indian Election Commission favors ruling party
-Question rise over the fairness of Indian EC
New Delhi: When it came down to allegations of communal campaigning and dig whistling in the lead up to and during the 2019 Lok Sabha election, questions were raised regarding the fairness of the Election Commission.
The questions gained traction especially in light of the way the poll body dealt with complaints on violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by top BJP leaders. After first dragging its feet on the complaints it received, the EC finally gave clean chits in five complaints lodged against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then BJP chief Amit Shah. The body’s majority decisions had raised eyebrows as the then Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa had opposed them and opted out of meetings demanding that his dissent be recorded.
One of the cases in which Lavasa had opposed the all-clear to Modi pertained to his “minority-majority” speech in Nanded on April 6, where he had claimed that Rahul Gandhi was contesting from Wayanad in Kerala because Hindus were in minority there.
If a speech in which the prime minister had used the words “majority” and “minority” was found objectionable by Lavasa, it is hard to fathom what he would have thought of Modi’s speech in Bengal’s Cooch Behar on April 6, where he named communities and sent out a thinly veiled message asking for votes but did so under the cover of criticising Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee.
PM names religions
Addressing an election rally, Modi said that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee recently said that “all Muslims should unite, and not allow their votes to be divided.” She had also appealed to Hindus not to fall victim to attempts at communalising the state but Modi ignored that part of her speech. “You are saying…this means that you are convinced that the Muslim vote bank has also gone out of your hands, the Muslims have also turned away from you,” Modi said.
“Didi Mamata Banerjee, you are abusive towards the Election Commission,” he said, adding: “ But had we asked the Hindus to unite and vote for BJP, we would have got eight or ten notices from the Election Commission. Editorials would have been written about us in the entire country.”
Opposition accuses EC of overlooking BJP’s wrongs
Opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi and TMC MP Derek O’Brien have alleged that the poll panel’s handling of complaints against other BJP leaders during the ongoing assembly elections has been less than impressive.
In West Bengal, where the BJP is trying to wrest power from the TMC, the two parties have gone back and forth, accusing each other of poll malpractices and multiple MCC violations. Recently, after Banerjee complained of irregularities during voting in Nandigram, from where she is a contestant, on April 1, the EC rejected her complaint, terming it “factually wrong”.