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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Election Commission merely issues warning to BJP without naming Narendra Modi for remarks targeted at Muslims

An equivalent censure has been sent to Congress on complaint against party MP Rahul Gandhi and president Mallikarjun Kharge

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 23.05.24, 06:11 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Almost a month after the BJP was put on notice for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks targeted at Muslims, the Election Commission merely issued a warning to the party without naming him or referring to what he said.

An equivalent censure has been sent to the Congress on a complaint against party MP Rahul Gandhi and president Mallikarjun Kharge.

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A former election commissioner who did not want to be named referred to a line from Alexander Pope’s poem Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot when asked for his views on the poll body’s action: “Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.”

On April 21, the PM had said in Rajasthan’s Banswara: “Should your hard-earned money be distributed among infiltrators? This is what the Congress manifesto says, that they will evaluate the gold owned by mothers and sisters, attach them and distribute them. And they will distribute them among those who the Manmohan Singh government had said that Muslims have the first right over the country’s resources. Brothers and sisters, this is urban Naxal thinking; mothers and sisters, they will not spare even your mangalsutras.”

This set off a trend of incendiary speeches by BJP leaders, including the PM, which is mentioned in the EC’s order to party president J.P. Nadda on Wednesday.

The order says: “In your response of 13.05.2024, you state that the impugned statements of the star campaigners rely on facts to expose the ‘mal-intent’ of INC to the nation. After such careful consideration and also in the context of the foregoing, the commission, in totality of the material before it, as narrated above finds that the defence offered on alleged utterances, not tenable. The continuation of utterances after 25.04.2024 indeed in the extended time sought by you i.e., 13.05.2024 and thereafter has also been noted with continued concern.”

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