Bihar Elections: BJP gets clean chit from Election Commission on ‘free Covid-19 vaccine’ poll promise

By: |
October 31, 2020 12:56 PM

The decision comes one week after the complaint was filed with the poll watchdog by RTI activist Saket Gokhale who had accused the party of abusing the powers of the Union government and misleading the voters.

In its reply to Gokhale sent on October 28, the commission said no violation of any of the Model Code of Conduct provisions had taken place on this matter.

Quashing the complaint filed against the BJP for promising free Covid-19 vaccine in its manifesto for the Bihar assembly elections, the Election Commission of India has said that the promise does not violate the model code of conduct, the Indian Express reported. The decision comes one week after the complaint was filed with the poll watchdog by RTI activist Saket Gokhale who had accused the party of abusing the powers of the Union government and misleading the voters. The complainant had further said that the decision on Covid-19 vaccine policy has not been made yet.

In its reply to Gokhale sent on October 28, the commission said no violation of any of the Model Code of Conduct provisions had taken place on this matter. The free Covid-19 vaccine promise by the BJP evoked a sharp response from the opposition RJD-Congress leaders who alleged that the ruling party was doing politics over pandemic and trying to take advantage of the fears of the people.

In its state election manifesto, the BJP had written that the JDU-BJP government’s response against the Coronavirus pandemic has been exemplary. It had also added that every resident of the state will be vaccinated for free after the vaccine’s clearance from the Indian COuncil of Medical Research (ICMR).

The principal opposition RJD took on the BJP and said that the Covid-19 vaccine belonged to the nation and not the BJP. The Tejashwi Yadav-led party had also said that the BJP did not have any option apart from doing politics over the fears of disease and death.

Bhupender Yadav who is the BJP general secretary and in charge for Bihar elections in his party’s defence told the Indian Express that Public Health is part of the government policy and all political parties make promises on the issues of public policy.

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