Capt Amarinder complains to CEC against repeated poll code violations by PM & BJP

Punjab News Express | April 10, 2019 03:33 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: Taking strong exception to Narendra Modi’s invocation of the success of the Indian armed forces and the recent martyrdom of security personnel, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday shot off a complaint letter to the Election Commission, seeking action against the prime minister for violation of the code of conduct.

Terming Modi’s speech in Maharashtra, which has been widely reported by the media, as “shockingly disgraceful”, the Chief Minister said it was “a clear case of violation of the code of conduct, which constitutes the bedrock of free and fair election” and failure to check such instances suggested bias on the part of the Election Commission.

In his letter to CEC Sunil Arora, Captain Amarinder Singh strongly protested against the Prime Minister using the success of the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force and the sacrifice of the martyrs of the Pulwama attacks to woo first-time voters.

“That a person of the stature of the Prime Minister should indulge in such shameful acts makes a mockery of the democratic process of election and undermines the independence of the Election Commission as well as the armed forces, who have always prided themselves on their secular character,” the Chief Minister wrote.

Captain Amarinder Singh described as extremely unfortunate the fact that the Prime Minister was being allowed to engage in this kind of prejudicial behaviour, without the Election Commission taking any action to put a stop to such wilful violation of the code of conduct, for the past several weeks. “That the Prime Minister has been allowed to continuously and brazenly resort to such gimmickry to woo voters raises suspicions of bias on the part of the Election Commission, with the impression going out that the poll body is not coming down hard enough on those violating its own code,” he said.

The Chief Minister pointed out that the Election Commission, while asking political parties not to use photographs of defence personnel in its campaign, had categorically stated: “The Armed Forces of a nation are the guardians of its frontiers, security and political system. They are apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy. It is therefore necessary that political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the armed forces in their political campaigns.” In fact, it was to maintain their neutrality that the Father of the Indian Constitution had chosen to make the President of the country the supreme commander of the armed forces, he further noted.

“Despite the EC directive, however, the Prime Minister continues to malign the memories of the martyrs and exploit their sacrifices in a petty attempt to garner votes,” said Captain Amarinder Singh, lashing out at Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for audaciously using the Balakot air strikes and the martyrdom of the security forces to exploit the sentiments of the voters, particularly the new ones. Their television campaign ads were also playing this theme with total disregard to the code of conduct, in utter contempt of the due process of election, he added.

Captain Amarinder Singh said if the Prime Minister was so concerned about the sacrifices of the security personnel, he should announce compensation of Rs 1 crore for the families of each of the martyrs instead of exploiting their martyrdom for promoting his vested interests.

Given the gravity of the violation, which he said was seriously jeopardizing the election process and undermining the sanctity and integrity of the Election Commission, the Chief Minister requested the CEC’s urgent personal intervention “to put an immediate end to such gross violations of the code of conduct by the ruling party and its leaders.”

Fair play and electoral propriety demands that such action be taken without further delay, in the larger interest of the nation’s democratic polity and to uphold the secular credentials of the security forces, he said in conclusion.


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