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Is There a Separate Law For PM? EC Has Let Itself Down By Not Taking Action Against Modi’s  Speech: Former CEC SY Quraishi

He said the PM’s Wardha speech was "more serious” than what Yogi Adityanath or Mayawati, against whom the EC acted, had said.

On Karan Thapar’s debate show on HTN Tiranga TV on Tuesday, former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. S.Y Quraishi castigated the election commission for not taking any action against PM Narendra Modi for his communal speech at Wardha, Maharashtra, that was in essence violative of the Model Code of Conduct. The PM uttered the word ‘Hindu’ thirteen times in the speech delivered on April 1, and attempted to polarise the voters.

Dr S.Y Quraishi, on being asked if the PM’s speech was violating the Representation of People’s Act and the MCC, said, “The PM’s speech was a lot more serious than what Mayawati or Yogi said. If I were the CEC, would’ve acted much faster.”

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The host raised questions over the silence of the EC on the PM, when Yogi Adityanath, a sitting Chief Minister, and Mayawati, the head of a major political party, have been debarred from campaigning for 48 and 72 hours respectively for communal speeches. Thapar questioned if the EC can take similar action against the PM when his lapse is exactly the same.

“’Is there a separate law for the Prime Minister? Is there a separate code for the Prime Minister?” Dr Quraishi asked in response.

Thapar also asked if the EC was ‘pusillanimous’, and ‘scared to act against the PM’, given that the PM’s lapse was sixteen days before Yogi and Mayawati and no action was taken. “Accusations against EC make me sad. It is an institution all of us have nurtured with our sweat. The nation has respected it for seventy years,” he said.

Quraishi added that the PM swore his allegiance to the constitution and its institutions, “it is his responsibility to guard the reputation of the EC.” He added that the Election Commissioners themselves need to be conscious of the responsibility they have. “The Election Commission has let itself down,” Quraishi asserted.

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