Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – After the Election Commission acted against four politicians for violating model codes of conduct, prominent Supreme Court lawyer and anti-corruption crusader Prashant Bhushan asked the EC to act against the ‘biggest violators’ of the election codes Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah.
The EC has barred Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and senior Samajwadi Party Leader Azam Khan from campaigning for 48 hours and BSP chief Mayawati and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours. Yogi had made several objectionable and communal statements — ‘Modi Ji ki Sena’, ‘Ali versus Bajrangbali’. Khan said that BJP candidate Jaya Parda wears ‘khaki chaddi’. Mayawati was punished for urging Muslims to vote the grand alliance and Maneka Gandhi threatened Muslims that she will not work for them if they don’t vote her.
The EC took action against them after the Supreme Court asked the poll body what it was doing to stop hate speeches made during election campaigns. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a petition over inaction of the EC against hate speeches.
Bhushan, who is also leader of Swaraj Abhiyan, expressed his relief that the EC is doing something against them. But he has pointed towards the statements made by Shah and Modi. He thinks that both leaders who are serving the high authority are the biggest violators of election codes.
“Now that EC is beginning to show some teeth after SC’s prod & has started taking action on speeches violating Model Code, can we expect it to act against the biggest violators of the Code, Modi& Shah who are shamelessly running a communal campaign & seeking votes in name of Army,” tweeted Bhushan.
Now that EC is beginning to show some teeth after SC's prod & has started taking action on speeches violating Model Code, can we expect it to act against the biggest violaters of the Code, Modi& Shah who are shamelessly running a communal campaign & seeking votes in name of Army?
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) April 16, 2019
PM Modi during his rally campaigns invoked the armed forces and their sacrifices many times and asked the voters to vote in their name. During a rally in Maharashtra’s Latur, Modi asked the first voters to dedicate their votes to the Pulwama martyrs who were killed in a suicide bombing. He has been doing so despite the EC asked the political parties not to use soldiers in their election rally. Over 100 armymen and veterans also wrote to the President of India over the politicization of the army. Modi even went on to justify the politicization of the army in an interview with DD News.
Modi also indirectly invoked religion in his political speeches when he mocked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for contesting from a minority-concentrated constituency Wayanad. He mockingly said that Gandhi is not fighting from the constituency where Hindus are in majority but from the constituency where the minority are in majority.
BJP President Amit Shah also made communal statements day before the first phase of polling held. Shah said that they will implement National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country and remove all the infiltrators except for Hindus, Budhists and Sikhs if his party comes again in power.
“We have promised in our manifesto that once Narendra Modi forms the government once again, we will implement National Register of Citizens in the entire country,” Shah said. “We will remove every single infiltrator from the country. And all the Hindu and Buddhist refugees…we will find each of them, give them Indian citizenship and make them residents here.”