EC: BJP’s COVID Vaccine Promise in Bihar Doesn’t Violate Poll Code

In response to an RTI query, the EC reportedly stated that BJP’s promise does not violate the Model Code of Conduct

1 min read
Last week, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the BJP’s election manifesto in Bihar, promising free vaccines for COVID-19 to the people of the state.

The Election Commission (EC) has given a clean chit to the BJP over its promise of providing free COVID-19 vaccines in the run up to the Bihar elections. In response to an RTI query by activist Saket Gokhale, the EC reportedly stated that the party’s promise does not violate the Model Code of Conduct.


Quoting an excerpt from the response, the Hindustan Times reported that the EC has cited three provisions from the MCC and these include, “state election manifestos should not contain anything repugnant to the Constitution; should avoid making promises that vitiate the purity of the electoral process or exert undue influence on the voter and trust of the voters should be sought only on promises that can be fulfilled.”

The reply also reportedly pointed out that manifestos are always issued for a specific election.

Gokhale reacted on social media to the Election Commission’s response, stating, “The ECI shockingly ignored the fact that the Union Govt announced it for a specific state & said the action is taken when the 'election atmosphere is vitiated'.”

Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman had unveiled the BJP’s manifesto for the Bihar Assembly polls earlier in October. During the occasion, the finance minister had assured the people of Bihar that every person in the state would get a free vaccine as soon as the coronavirus vaccine will be available for production at a mass scale.

The Opposition has criticised the move and called it “blatant populism”.

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