The poll panel has given four clean chits to PM Modi, while it has given two to Amit Shah.
The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on an alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah until May 8. The top court decided to adjourn the matter after senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, said he wanted to submit more documents. Congress candidate from Silchar and Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev has listed 11 alleged violations by PM Modi and Amit Shah, urging direction to the Election Commission to take action on them. While hearing the case, the top court asked EC to decide on complaints filed against the two BJP leaders by the evening. So far, the poll panel has given four clean chits to PM Modi, while it has given two to Amit Shah.
On Monday, Singvi referred to reports of dissent within the election body on poll code violations in the court. He also urged the top court to lay down guidelines to decide on similar complaints in future. Earlier, reports in The Indian Express suggested that decisions were taken with the majority of 2-1. Even as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra were of the view that cases against both were not in violation of the Code, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa had a different opinion.
The EC has given clean chit to Modi in two separate speeches. While the one was in Laur, the other one was in Wardha. Addressing a rally in Latur, Modi urged first-time voters to decide their votes to the Balakot air strike heroes and soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack. In Wardha, he had pointed out that there more voters from the minority community in Wayanad. Dev, in her plea to the top court, alleged “inaction” by EC on complaints against top BJP leaders was “a sign of invidious discrimination” as also “arbitrary, capricious and impermissible” as it was not constructive of the integrity of election procedure.
The EC has so far given notices to a number of candidates across parties for alleged violations of Model Code of Conducts. Among candidates who were banned for campaigning for a couple of days include Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP leaders Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi party leader Azam Khan among others for comments and violating the spirit of the electoral process.