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Congress: Agencies crippled, no EC action on Narendra Modi

What we saw in this election in Gujarat has never happened in the history of independent India, says Kanhaiya Kumar
Kanhaiya Kumar.
Kanhaiya Kumar.
File picture

Sanjay K. Jha   |   New Delhi   |   Published 07.12.22, 04:53 AM

The Congress on Tuesday expressed serious concern about democratic institutions being crippled, referring to the Election Commission’s inability to act against violations of the model code of conduct by the highest functionaries of the government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

A day after the party slammed the Election Commission for ignoring the roadshow by Modi on the day of polling, it presented several complaints not addressed satisfactorily to buttress its perception of bias in the poll watchdog. The Congress said the future of Indian democracy would be bleak if institutions abdicated their responsibilities.


Addressing a media conference in Rajasthan where the Bharat Jodo Yatra is passing through, party spokesperson Kanhaiya Kumar said: “What we saw in this election in Gujarat has never happened in the history of independent India. Those who are entrusted with the task of enforcing the rule of law were speaking the language of criminals from public platforms. They were trying to strike fear in people by recalling how they taught a lesson, were creating enmity between communities.”

Kanhaiya was referring to Union home minister Amit Shah saying that the BJP had brought “permanent peace” in Gujarat after the 2002 riots.

Kanhaiya said attempts were made to reopen wounds. “But the institutions are crippled. Families come to the Bharat Jodo Yatra with their children on their own. We got a notice for the crime of using children for political purposes. The Prime Minister sat with a child who was made to campaign for the BJP. No notice was sent. I saw during Narendra Modi’s roadshow in Ahmedabad children in their school uniforms lined up on the road. Their teachers were also present. Schools were told to bring the students,” he said.

Objecting to the photographs of Rahul Gandhi during the Yatra in Karnataka, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had asked the Election Commission to initiate action against the Congress for “misusing” children as “political tools”. The Congress petitioned the poll panel against the appeal by a child to support the BJP as the Prime Minister sat with her.   

Kanhaiya said: “If institutions continue to work like this, there will be serious questions about the survival of democracy. Why action is taken selectively? If the commission sent a notice to the Congress for children’s presence in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is not an election campaign, why was a notice not sent to the Prime Minister and the BJP? The commission should make a law to allow campaigning on polling day if it can’t act against the Prime Minister holding a roadshow.”

He added: “We will protect all the institutions. But no country can suppress its real concerns forever. It will have to deal with the real issues. The real concerns of the people were pushed out of the framework of discussion in the Gujarat campaign. The BJP didn’t answer why the contract for the Morbi bridge was given to a watch company. They didn’t explain why 22 exam papers were leaked.

“We didn’t pass through Gujarat because of geographical positions but the issues of Gujarati voters dominated our discourse. Price rise, unemployment, farm distress, flawed GST affect the people of Gujarat as well. We know the time is not far away when the people shouting Modi-Modi will scream mahngai-mahngai.”


New Delhi: Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was on Tuesday directed by Delhi High Court to appear before it inconnection with a criminal contempt case relating to his remarks against a judge of thehigh court. The high court asked The Kashmir Files director to appear after he tendered an unconditional apology, throughan affidavit, for his alleged remarks. 


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