Despite Facing SC’s Wrath, ECI Hasn’t Held a Single Daily Meeting on MCC Violations After April 16
Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa reportedly sent multiple reminders but to no avail.
The Election Commission on April 15 had decided to hold a meeting on the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) issue every day at 11.30 am after the Supreme Court pulled up the constitutional body for not acting against political leaders engaged in diatribes. However, no such meetings were reportedly held after April 16.
As per Hemant Atri’s report in Dainik Bhaskar, the EC had decided to hold daily meetings to avoid facing the Supreme Court’s wrath. It is noteworthy that the EC had taken decisions on April 15 against several political leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, and restrained them from campaigning for 48 to 72 hours. On the same day, the ECI told the apex court that it was “mostly helpless” if candidates engaged in communal diatribe during their campaign speeches” following which the court gave the commission precisely 24 hours to be ready with a response. EC took the action against the heavyweights after the SC hearing on April 15.
On April 18, April 22 and April 25, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa sent reminders to CEC Arora for holding regular meetings on MCC violations and uploading the details on the ECI website. Meanwhile, a complaint was registered regarding BJP Rajasthan president Madanlal Saini for making a communally sensitive remark. Lavasa wrote a note the CEC for registering a criminal case against Saini and for banning him from campaigning for 72 hours. However, no such action was taken by the commission.
As per a Hindustan Times report, Lavasa had written several times to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora since May 4, asking him to include minority decisions or dissent notes in the final orders taken after the EC meetings. On May 3, the poll panel gave clean chit to Amit Shah and Narendra Modi of all MCC violations. However, Lavasa had disagreed with the decision, and his dissent wasn’t registered in the orders that were passed.
The commission has not held any meeting to discuss MCC violations after May 4. Further, Lavasa has refused to attend any meeting till the time the dissents are not recorded.