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Congress Accuses BJP of Violating Poll Code, Urges EC for Action

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the government and the prime minister had turned the MCC into a "Modi Code of Conduct" and a "Modi Advertising Code".

New Delhi: The Congress accused the BJP on Friday of indulging in “corrupt practices” by “brazenly violating” the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and electoral laws, while urging the Election Commission (EC) to take immediate action.

A delegation of Congress leaders, led by party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, met EC officials and handed over a memorandum demanding action against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for alleged poll code violations.

Singhvi accused BJP workers of indulging in “outrageous and egregious corrupt practices” through the central government’s ministries and departments.

He charged a woman officer of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce with writing an e-mail to the officials in the ministry and seeking details of various schemes and initiatives as the same were to be included in the BJP’s vision document and manifesto ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

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Singhvi alleged that the officer had written the e-mail on March 28, when the model code was in force, adding that this amounted to a flagrant violation of the Representation of the People Act and the MCC.

“Please elaborate on your respective points for the Startup India vision document…. This has to go in the election manifesto,” the officer had written in the e-mail, the Congress leader claimed, alleging that it amounted to “corrupt practices”.

He said the same was reported in the media too.

“We are compelled to bring to the urgent attention of this Commission yet another blatant violation of electoral laws by the Prime Minister,” the Congress memorandum to the EC said.

“The, BJP, on the other hand, has brazenly proposed the exact same schemes in their manifesto for the 2019 general election,” Singhvi said, while alleging that the inputs received from the ministry were replicated in the BJP manifesto word by word.

He also accused the saffron party of violating the electoral laws under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Addressing a press conference, the Congress leader said the government and the prime minister had turned the MCC into a “Modi Code of Conduct” and a “Modi Advertising Code”.

“The EC’s Nelsonian blind eye, its hesitation and fear not to decide complaints for 20-25 days and then to decide them with a four-line unreasoned order…it is as much a test for the EC about its credibility as it is necessary to uphold the majesty of law and the level-playing field of the electoral prospectus,” he added.

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Singhvi said the MCC strictly prohibited the party in power or its ministers from using the official machinery for electioneering.

“This entire election has been fraught with unprecedented and brazen violations by the BJP and its members, despite the orders passed by this commission and the law laid down by Parliament.

“In light of the above, we take it upon ourselves to remind this commission of its constitutional mandate to ensure a level-playing field and to take necessary steps to bring such violations at complete halt. The Election Commission must take immediate action and call for urgent investigation against such a blatant abuse of power by BJP. We hope the commission treats this matter with the attention it deserves,” the opposition party said in its complaint to the poll watchdog.

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