Vol. XLIII No. 15 April 14, 2019

Stop Poll Atmosphere from Being Vitiated

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu, has written to the chief election commissioner, Election Commission of India on April 9, regarding certain brazen violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by the prime minister, Narendra Modi and by the cabinet minister of Assam, Himanta Biswas Sharma. Modi is also violating the specific direction of the Election Commission to refrain from invoking the armed forces for seeking votes.

On April 9, Modi has asked first time voters to dedicate their votes to those who carried out the air strike in Balakot. He stated: ”Can your first vote be dedicated to those who carried out the airstrike?”, while appealing to first time voters at a poll rally in Lathur in Maharashtra.

Basu also drew the attention of the EC to the brazenly provocative statement of the cabinet minister of Assam, Himanta Bishwas Sharma who has, in his election campaign, asserted that they did not need votes from those wearing ‘dhothis and lungis’, alluding to linguistic and religious minorities in the state. The situation in Assam is quite vulnerable. A custodial death took place in the Goalpara detention camp run by the state government. The detention camps for so-called doubtful voters were to be dismantled as per BJP’s electoral commitments. However, not only has this assurance not been implemented, but new camps have come up notwithstanding the process of Supreme Court monitored up-gradation of National Register of Citizens.

“We have in the past brought such blatant violations of the BJP and its leadership to your notice. However, the Commission, in its wisdom, has not dealt with such acts with any firmness. Reportedly, Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was treated ‘lightly’ for his obnoxious reference to “Modi Ka Sena”.

“We urge you to strongly initiate appropriate action to stop the pre-election atmosphere from being vitiated which is fast degenerating towards polarisation based on identity and assertion of national symbol for partisan electoral interests,” Basu wrote.