TMC, TDP Move EC Over Modi’s Kedarnath Visit, Allege MCC Violation

The complaints claim the visit is being covered and widely televised, and is hence a gross violation of the MCC.

Updated19 May 2019, 01:11 PM IST
Elections
2 min read

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have written to the Election Commission over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath, even as voting is underway in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday, 19 May.

The complaint, filed by MP Derek O’Brien on behalf of TMC, claims that the visit was being covered and widely televised, and is hence a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

“Every minute detail of his activities during the visit is being widely publicised with an ulterior motive to influence voters directly and/or indirectly,” TMC wrote in the complaint.

The party further accused the poll body of being “blind and deaf to the gross violation of the MCC,” despite being the “highest body and the eyes and ears of the democratic process.”

The Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP, in its letter to the EC, wrote,

“PM has gone to Badrinath & Kedarnath on an official visit, all the private activities done by him during his pilgrimage are being displayed & continuously telecast, which is a clear violation of the MCC,” reported ANI.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Naidu complained that, "If continuous telecast of these activities of Prime Minister is not stopped, it could affect the level playing field envisaged by the model code of conduct, which the ECI is duty bound to implement,” reported PTI. He further goes on to call the Election Commission ‘a mute spectator’.

“...The Election Commission of India, which should have stopped this, has been a mute spectator (thus) further strengthening the public belief that it has different sets of rules for the PM and BJP, and the rules in vogue for other political parties.”
Excerpt from the letter as reported by PTI

Addressing the dissent expressed by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa over clean chits given to PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in allegations of poll code violations, Naidu wrote, “The callousness showed by the ECI in not considering minority's decision is arbitrary and is not befitting the stature of the office of EC. This clearly depicts the erosion of institutional integrity”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to the Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand.

After offering morning prayers at the Kedarnath temple on Sunday morning, Modi told the media that he had a “master plan” in place for the holy shrine. “My development mission for Kedarnath includes plans for nature, environment and tourism,” he said.

The Prime Minister is now slated to visit the Badrinath shrine and head to New Delhi later in the evening.

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Published: 19 May 2019, 05:34 AM IST

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