EC wakes up from slumber

23 May,2024 07:30 AM IST |  New Delhi  |  Agencies

After five phases of poll, EC tells BJP and Congress to stop using caste, religion, and community in campaigns, demanding decorum and unity

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar With Election Commissioners

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The Election Commission on Wednesday asked the BJP and Congress to desist from campaigning along caste, community, language, and religious lines, asserting that India' socio-cultural milieu cannot be made a casualty to elections.

Nearly a month after it issued notice to BJP president J P Nadda on opposition charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a divisive speech in Rajasthan's Banswara, the poll watchdog rejected his defence and asked him and his party's star campaigners to desist from campaigning on religious and communal lines.

It also asked the BJP to stop campaign speeches that may divide society.

Headquarters of ECI. File pics

Along with Nadda, the EC had issued a similar notice to Mallikarjun Kharge asking him to respond to complaints filed by the BJP against him and the main opposition party's senior leader Rahul Gandhi.

The EC also rejected his defence and asked the Congress not to politicise defence forces and make potentially divisive statements regarding socio-economic composition of the armed forces.

It also asked the Congress to ensure that its star campaigners and candidates do not make statements which give false impression that the Constitution may be abolished or sold.

The EC asked the presidents of the two national parties to issue formal notes to their star campaigners to correct their discourse, exercise care and maintain decorum.

Cong questions delay in release of data

Congress raised questions over the big difference between the real time voter turnout data and the final figures released by the EC, and said voters are worried over the "strange goings-on" in the poll body.

Congress leader and head of media and publicity department of the party Pawan Khera said the difference is around 1.7 crore votes, and termed it as unprecedented.

"Voters are worried about the strange goings on in the Election Commission through the four phases of voting. First, the Election Commission takes 10-11 days to bring out the final figure of voting and then the difference between real time data and final figure turns out to be 1.7 crore votes. This is truly unprecedented," Khera said on X.

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