Congress Moves SC Against Modi's 'Corrupt Rajiv' Remark, Says EC Clean Chits Arbitrary
Congress MP Sushmita Dev also mentioned about the dissent within the EC on clearances to Modi's speeches. The plea will be heard by the apex court on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Congress MP Sushmita Dev on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'corrupt no. 1' remark at former PM Rajiv Gandhi. In the complaint, the lawmaker said that Election Commission's clean chits to the leader are "arbitrary and opaque".
"The Respondent-ECI failed to appreciate that the hate speeches delivered by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are 'corrupt practices' under Section 123A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 which ex-facie promote feelings of enmity and hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion," Dev's affidavit said.
She said that speeches given by Modi and Shah are also punishable under section 153A of the Indian Penal Code as they "blatantly promote disharmony and feelings of enmity on the grounds of religion and such acts are also likely to prejudice the maintenance of public harmony and tranquility between religious communities".
Dev also mentioned about the dissent within the EC on clearances to Modi's speeches. The plea will be heard by the apex court on Wednesday.
Modi's remarks drew widespread condemnation from Congress and other opposition leaders who felt the prime minister lowered the dignity of his office by making such comments about a former PM, who is no longer alive.
While Congress chief Rahul Gandhi replied to him with "love and a huge hug" and said he should wait for his 'karma' to catch up, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the statement and said Rajiv Gandhi had laid down his life for the motherland.
The BJP, however, said every word Modi had said about Rajiv Gandhi was true and that the Congress chief was rattled due to his party's imminent defeat in Lok Sabha polls. Union minister Prakash Javadekar cited the former prime minister's remarks about the 1984 riots to accuse him of "supporting" the massacre of Sikhs. The senior BJP leader also claimed he was surprised at the reactions of Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over Modi's remarks.
In his speeches earlier, the PM has attacked the "Gandhi dynast for fleeing to a region where minority is majority". The remarks promoted Congress to approach the EC, however, Modi was given clean chits in most of the cases.
One of the election commissioners, according to sources, even gave a dissenting view in the poll body's decision to give a clean chit to Modi as regards his speech at Wardha on April 1, where he attacked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for contesting from the minority-dominated Wayanad seat in Kerala, and his appeal to first-time voters by invoking the Balakot airstrike and the CRPF jawans killed in the Pulwama terror attack in Latur on April 9.
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