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BJP files complaint against Xavier's College principal

The party filed a complaint with the EC objecting to the principal’s email and website post that criticised Gujarat Model

After the principal of St Xavier's College sent a sharply critical email to about 3,000 students, picking apart the success of 'Gujarat Model', it was only a matter of time before BJP would react strongly against it. On Wednesday, the party filed a complaint with the Election Commission, stating it was a violation of the model code of conduct.

While the BJP filed a complaint against Father Frazer Mascarenhas, other political parties have backed him. File pic
While the BJP filed a complaint against Father Frazer Mascarenhas, other political parties have backed him. File pic

While the principal, Father Frazer Mascarenhas, continues to defend his action, claiming that the note was not against any specific individual or party; the BJP is not looking to give any concession. In the letter written to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar stated, “This activity in his capacity as principal is an attempt to influence voters and is a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

He did not contact BJP to get our side of the view. We demand immediate withdrawal of the statement, immediate investigation and appropriate action for violation of model code of conduct.” Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, “If he is trying to influence the minds of students who have come to learn from his institution, then it is certainly wrong.”

Frazer, however, did get the backing of the leaders of Congress, NCP and the National Conference (NC). NCP’s working president Jitendra Awhad said, “In the world’s biggest democracy, every citizen has been given a right to express his opinion. Those opposing his note are anti-democratic. BJP’s reaction to the principal’s note shows that the party and its workers are out to finish those who oppose them.”

“He (Father) has every right under the Constitution to express his views,” said Congress spokesperson, Abhishek Singhvi. Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and NC leader Omar Abdullah also came to his aide, “If religious leaders, yoga teachers, media personalities and business tycoons can express an opinion, why not college principals?”

Paper trail

7,700 Metric Ton
Amount of paper used for printing of ballot paper in General Elections, 1999

8,800 Metric Ton
Amount of paper used for printing of ballot paper in General Elections, 1996

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