India: PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi to respond to poll code violation complaints

Both BJP and Congress raised allegations of causing hatred and division based on religion, caste, community, or language


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Photo: Agencies
Photo: Agencies

Published: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 11:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 1:35 PM

India's Election Commission has sought responses from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on alleged violation of poll conduct rules, ANI news agency reported on Thursday.

The allegations by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress relate to "causing hatred and divide based on religion, caste, community, or language," the news agency reported.

ECI has invoked section 77 of the Representation of the People Act and held party presidents responsible, as a first step, to reign in star campaigners.

"Political parties will have to take primary responsibility for the conduct of their candidates, star campaigners in particular. Campaign speeches by those holding high positions are of more serious consequences," said the Election Commission.

The BJP on Monday alleged that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was making a false claim about the rise in poverty in the country and urged the Election Commission to take "strict action" against him.

Lodging a complaint with the poll panel, the BJP also accused Gandhi of continuing to create a North-South divide in the country on the basis of language and region to vitiate the poll atmosphere.

The Congress approached the poll body on Monday and formally lodged a complaint seeking action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The only available remedy compatible with the principle of zero tolerance towards allegations of corrupt practices, is the disqualification of the candidates who try to create a divide between different classes of the citizens of India regardless of the stature or position of that candidate," the Congress memorandum had said.

The first phase of the seven phase Lok Sabha elections concluded on April 19. The second phase of polls will get underway on April 26. The other phases are scheduled for May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. Results of all the 543 Lok Sabha seats will be announced on June 4.


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