EC asks BJP to respond to ‘hate speech’ charge against PM Modi

It is the first time that the panel has taken cognisance of a complaint against any Prime Minister.

New Delhi: Taking cognisance for the first time of a model code violation allegation against a prime minister, the Election Commission on Thursday asked the BJP to respond to complaints filed by opposition parties wherein they have accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of delivering a divisive and defamatory speech, or hate speech, in Rajasthan’s Banswara.

At the same time, the poll panel also asked Congress to respond to complaints filed by the BJP against the main opposition party’s president Mallikarjun Kharge and its senior leader Rahul Gandhi regarding their respective remarks.

In its letter addressed to BJP President J P Nadda, the Election Commission asked him to respond by Monday to complaints filed by the Congress, CPI and CPI (ML) regarding the remarks made by Modi on April 21 in Banswara.

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It also asked Nadda to bring to the notice of all star campaigners of the party to “set high standards of political discourse and observe provisions of model code of conduct in letter and spirit”.

Officials said it is the first time that the panel has taken cognisance of a complaint against any prime minister. The Election Commission has invoked provisions of the Representation of the People Act to hold party presidents as the first step to rein in star campaigners.

It wrote a similarly-worded letter separately to the Congress president with regard to allegations levelled by the BJP against him and Gandhi.

The letters from the EC to the two-party presidents did not directly name either Modi, Gandhi or Kharge, but the representations received by it were attached to the respective letters and they contained details of allegations against the three leaders.

In its complaint to the EC, the Congress said that Modi in his speech had alleged that Congress wanted to redistribute the wealth of the people to Muslims and that the opposition party won’t even spare the ‘mangalsutra’ of women.

Modi in his speech alleged that Congress has joined hands with the urban naxals, and promised a survey of the property, wealth and gold including the ‘mangalasutras’ of women to distribute them among Muslims. Further, he cited former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh that the “first right to the country’s resources should go to the minorities.”

“Tum use chhinane ki baat kar rahe ho apne manifesto mein. Gold le lenge, aur sabko vitrit kar denge. Aur pehele jab unki sarkar thi to unhone kaha tha, ki desh ki sampatti par pehela adhikar Musalmano ka hai. Iska matlab, ye sampatti ikhatti karke kisko batenge…..jinke jyada bacche hai unko batenge…Ghuspaithiyo ko batenge. Kya apki mehenat ki kamayi ka paisa ghuspaithiyo ko diya jayega….Apko manzur hai ye…” reads an excerpt from the speech delivered by Modi in Banswara.

The English translation reads, “You [Congress] are referring to grabbing of that [gold and property] in your manifesto…They will take the gold and distribute it to all. When their [Congress] government was there, they had said that Muslims have the first right over the country’s property. Whom they [Congress] will distribute to after accumulating the property? They will give to people who have more children … will your hard earned money be given to infiltrators… Do you accept it?

He further accused the Congress party of attempting to take away women’s gold which he stated was about their ‘self-respect’ and ‘life’s dream.’

The BJP, on the other hand, had written to EC that Gandhi levelled malafide and utterly sinister allegations against Modi during a speech in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

It also accused Kharge of violating the model code by claiming that he was not invited to the Ram temple consecration ceremony due to discrimination against SCs and STs.


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