The Congress requested that EC officials deployed in Gujarat be reviewed, especially in the Dholka constituency where it alleged that the potential for tampering and manipulation is particularly acute.
The Congress on Friday moved the EC against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Maharashtra’s Wardha city in which he said the opposition party was “scared” to field its leaders from constituencies where majority dominates, alleging that the comments were “hateful and divisive”. A delegation of Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Randeep Surjewala made five representations to the Election Commission (EC). In the representations, the party sought action against the prime minister’s alleged “divisive” speech and BJP chief Amit Shah’s “non-disclosure” of liabilities in his election affidavit.
It also complained regarding “cash for votes conspiracy” in Arunachal Pradesh, “conspiracy to illegally tamper” with EVMs in tribal areas, especially in Palghar, Maharashtra, and sought immediate transfer of the Joint Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, Deven Bharti. Complaining against the prime minister’s speech in Wardha, the Congress alleged that Modi made some “hateful, vile and divisive” remarks against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “The prime minister through his speech tried to spread hate for electoral gains which is a serious violation of the Representation of People Act,” Singhvi told reporters outside the EC office. The party claimed that this was the “fourth brazen violation” by Modi in the last three weeks since the model code of conduct came into force.
“The only available remedy compatible with the principle of zero-tolerance towards allegations of corrupt practices is the disqualification of the candidates who try to create a divide between different classes of the citizens of India regardless of the stature or position of that candidate,” the Congress said in its memorandum to the EC. “We hope that the EC treats this situation with the gravity it deserves. This is not a candidate who will be silenced by a simple censure,” the party said. The Congress, in another memorandum, also urged the commission for urgent and necessary intervention against alleged “deliberate, corrupt and wilful non-disclosure of liabilities” by Shah in his affidavit for the 2019 general elections.
The EC must take immediate note of this and initiate appropriate proceedings to disqualify Shah from contesting the upcoming elections, the party urged the EC. It also called for initiating proceedings against the BJP chief for filing a “false affidavit”. The Congress also complained against a “cash for votes conspiracy”, alleging that on April 3, a midnight raid on the convoy of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Prema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and BJP Arunachal president Tapir Gao had found Rs 1.8 crore in stacks of hard cash in brazen violation of the model code of conduct.
The party also demanded Deven Bharti’s transfer on the grounds that she has been posted in Mumbai for nearly four years and has not been transferred in complete violation of the commission’s instructions. The Congress requested that EC officials deployed in Gujarat be reviewed, especially in the Dholka constituency where it alleged that the potential for tampering and manipulation is particularly acute. The party also complained to the EC alleging that the BJP has hatched a “well-planned conspiracy to manipulate and illegally tamper” with EVMs in tribal areas, especially in Palghar, Maharashtra as well as other constituencies.