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CPI (M) writes to ECI about the controversial speeches of PM Modi, demands action

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Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary Communist Party of India (Marxist) has written a letter to Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India about the content of some of the speeches made by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, during the election campaign.

The letter reads that there are several instances in his speeches where Modi has made references to the consecration of the Ram temple at Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, in which he has leveled allegations against certain opposition parties. He has labeled them as ‘opponents of the Ram temple’, ‘being against Lord Ram’ and ‘insulting Lord Ram’.

Such speeches have been made in Nawada, Bihar on 07 April and in a speech at Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh on 09 April.

Further in a speech in Ajmer, Rajasthan on 06 April, he implied that those who were against the consecration of the temple would oppose the forthcoming Ram Navami celebrations. This is an incitement of religious sentiment against a political opponent.

These speeches violate the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, specifically the Section, General Conduct, Clause 1 and 3. The use of the Ram temple or the deity of Lord Ram to mobilize support for the BJP or to incite passions against opposition parties is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The allegations made by Modi in the excerpts submitted are also against the guidelines given by the Election Commission in its Advisory to political parties dated 1st March 2024.

Some of the utterances of Modi which target specific opposition parties by alleging that they ‘harbour hatred for the Ram temple’ and that they ‘insult Lord Ram’, and warning of those who oppose Ram Navami celebration are clearly meant to rouse religious passions against the intended target. As such, these actions contravene the law and are liable to attract the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 153A, sub-clause (a) and (b) and IPC Section 505, sub-section 2. Similarly, they attract the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, Section 123, clause 3 and 3A.

It is highly unfortunate that such divisive and baseless speeches are being made by a person holding the high office of Prime Minister and who is the top-most leader of the ruling party.

“We urge the Election Commission to immediately intervene in the matter and take steps to curb the violations of the Model Code of Conduct and apply the law of the land impartially, regardless of the stature of the person involved. Firm and quick action by the Election Commission of India is required to stop the further vitiation of the poll atmosphere,” reads the letter. [KNT]

 

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