EC the arbiter resolves 400 of 425 complaints

| | New Delhi
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EC the arbiter resolves 400 of 425 complaints

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

In a rare feat aimed at swiftly resolving issues, the Election Commission of India has claimed to have addressed and resolved 400 grievances and complaints in record time out of a total of 425 major complaints received since the Lok Sabha elections began almost a month ago.

The poll watchdog said approximately 170, 95 and 160 complaints were filed by Congress, BJP and other political parties respectively.  "Most of these complaints have been acted upon. A few complaints of INC and BJP against each other are pending alleging violation of MCC inter alia broadly in the genre of divisive statements by top star campaigners on communal, caste, regional language divide, or on sanctity of Constitution of India," it said.

"So far, 25 delegations from 16 political parties have met the commission to lodge their grievances/ complaints on alleged violations of Model code. Apart from this, many delegations have met at the level of Chief Electoral Officer in the States," it said

The ECI said action has been taken (or matter disposed of) in 400 cases which excludes canvassing related or clarificatory complaints from political parties and candidates so far.

Coming out with its second report on the enforcement of the model code of conduct since the March 16 announcement of the Lok Sabha election, the poll panel said it has disposed of over 90 per cent of complaints and no major complaint from parties was pending, except some by the Congress and the BJP.

The statement comes against the backdrop of the poll authority issuing show-cause notices to BJP president J P Nadda and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on complaints of model code violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

According to the Election Commission, top leaders of political parties should set "good examples" of campaign discourse expected of them in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. The EC also asserted that it was primarily the leaders' responsibility to correct their poll speeches in the remaining phases of the election to avoid a permanent dent on the social fabric of the country.

"With about two months completed since the MCC came into effect, campaigning by various political parties and candidates at constituency level has largely remained violence free, less noisy, less cluttered and intrusive, free of inducement...," the commission added.

The poll body said a few complaints of INC and BJP against each other are pending alleging violation of MCC inter alia broadly in the genre of divisive statements by top star campaigners on communal, caste, regional language divide, or on sanctity of Constitution of India. In the past, the commission has been issuing notices to individual leaders who had committed violations of MCC.

Sharing data, the poll body said suo motu removal of officers holding dual charges as Principal Secretaries to Chief Ministers in six States namely Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, as they were holding charge of Home/General Administration department also. This was to distance election-related senior officers with control over DMs/DEOs/ROs and SPs, from Chief Minister's offices.

Suo motu removal of DGP West Bengal as he was barred from election duty in previous elections also.

On Congress complaint of capturing of a polling booth and tampering of EVM in Dahod Parliamentary Constituency of Gujarat, re-poll was ordered and entire polling and police parties were placed under suspension, and concerned State authorities have been directed to initiate departmental proceedings against them.

On TDP complaint, the commission censured president YSRCP for violation of provisions of model code of conduct and commission's advisories relating to unverified allegations.

On complaint from Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee, president, BRS was barred for 48 hours from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, shows and interviews and public utterances in media for making statements violating MCC during a press meet.

 

On complaints from BRS, a Minister in Telangana was censured for making unverified allegations and maligning the image of the Opposition party/leader. On complaint of Congress, a post from 'BJP4Karnataka' Twitter 'X' account was taken down on being found violative of MCC. A FIR was also registered in the matter.

On Congress's complaint that the morphed images of Congress leaders are being put up with a malafide intent on a social media site, the ECI directed to lodge FIR against the Instagram handle 'Bol Himachal' and directed to take necessary statutory action for removal of alleged objectionable social media posts.

On BJP's complaint, FIR lodged under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against Madhya Pradesh State INC president for making objectionable remarks against a former lady Minister.

The poll body further said in complaint of AAP, CEO Delhi was directed to re-examine and clear the song submitted by AAP for clearance. A FIR under provisions of Section 171F, 506 of IPC and Section 135 (c) of RP Act 1951 was ordered against an MLA of AITC for threatening local voters and opposition party workers about consequences after CAPF is withdrawn from West Bengal in an election rally in Chopra at North Dinajpur.

In a complaint, the Congress told the EC to direct the CBDT for verification of any mismatch in assets declaration by a Union Minister in his affidavit.

DGP (HoPF) of Andhra Pradesh removed. Further, DGP (Intelligence) Andhra Pradesh, Commissioner of Police Vijayawada, DIG Anantpuramu and SPs of Prakasam, Chittoor, Palnadu, Anantpuramu were also removed based on various complaints/inputs.

On similar complaints/inputs, four DySPs/SDPOs and 5 Police Inspectors/ SHOs/ Sub Inspectors were also shifted/ suspended in Andhra Pradesh.

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