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  India   Politics  23 May 2024  EC warns BJP, Congress against divisive speech

EC warns BJP, Congress against divisive speech

THE ASIAN AGE. | VINEETA PANDEY
Published : May 23, 2024, 1:58 am IST
Updated : May 23, 2024, 1:58 am IST

EC has asked the BJP and the Congress to desist from campaigning along caste, community, language and religious lines

Election Commission logo.
 Election Commission logo.

 

New Delhi: With the Lok Sabha election campaign getting shriller and the speeches getting bitter, the Election Commission told the presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress to mind the language and the content of speeches of their star campaigners. In a letter sent on Wednesday to the presidents of both parties, the EC has asked the BJP and the Congress to desist from campaigning along caste, community, language and religious lines, asserting that India's socio-cultural milieu cannot be made a casualty to elections.

The EC also directed the Congress not to politicise the armed forces and make potentially divisive statements about the socio-economic composition of the forces while it asked the BJP to stop campaign speeches that may divide society.

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 and not to make statements prohibited under the Model Code of Conduct,

The EC order to the parties comes almost a month after it had issued notices to the party presidents giving them time to respond. BJP president J.P. Nadda was sent a notice on allegation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a divisive speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara. The EC had then asked Mr Nadda to direct his party's star campaigners to desist from campaigning on religious and communal lines. On Wednesday, the EC rejected the BJP’s explanation to its notice and asked the BJP to stop campaign speeches that may divide society.

To Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, the EC had sought his reply to allegations against Rahul Gandhi on his remarks about Agniveer and that the Constitution will be changed by the BJP. The EC has also rejected his defence and asked the Congress not to politicise the defence forces and make potentially divisive statements regarding the 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 a false impression that the Constitution may be abolished or sold.

“The utterances of the concerned star campaigners follow patterns and create narratives that can be damaging beyond the MCC period. Technical loopholes or extreme interpretations of other political parties’ utterances cannot discharge star campaigners from the core responsibility of their own content, which ought to be corrective to the ongoing discourse and not further plummeting the quality of campaign discourse,” the EC said to both parties. It added that it expects the BJP and the Congress to fully align the campaign methods to the practical aspects of the composite and sensitive fabric of India.

To Mr Nadda, the EC asked to direct all star campaigners not to make speeches and statements that may divide society, tell them to refrain from any utterances or campaigning on communal lines and to maintain decorum.

To Mr Kharge, the EC told him to direct star campaigners to desist from indulging in any political propaganda involving the activities of the defence forces and not to make potentially divisive statements about the socio-economic composition of the forces.

Tags: 2024 lok sabha elections, mallikarjun kharge, jp nadda, communal card, hate speech
Location: India, Delhi