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SC to Give Urgent Hearing to Congress Plea Seeking EC Action Against PM Modi, Amit Shah for Poll Code Violations

File photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. (PTI)

File photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. (PTI)

Sushmita Dev, an MP from Silchar, Assam, filed the petition on Monday morning citing eight instances of poll code violations.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to grant an urgent hearing to a Congress plea claiming Election Commission “inaction” against alleged violations of the model code of conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

The court will hear the petition filed by Congress MP Sushmita Dev, seeking “urgent and necessary” directives to EC to take poll code violation complaints against Modi and Shah in cognizance, on Tuesday.

Dev, an MP from Silchar, Assam, filed the petition Monday morning citing eight instances of poll code violations.

She claimed that Modi and Shah had used the armed forces for political propaganda and influencing voters, but the poll body had not taken action over the various complaints.

The commission had asked political leaders to refrain from dragging the armed forces into the election campaign after several leaders had invoked the IAF attacks on a Jaish-e Mohammad camp at Pakistan's Balakot.

But with the BJP making national security and nationalism the party's key theme for the election, the order was routinely disregarded.

On April 9, the Prime Minister had issued a direct appeal in the name of soldiers and the "martyrs" who died in the suicide attack at Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama.

"I want to ask my first-time voters, can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers who conducted the Balakot air strikes? Can your first vote be in the name of the martyrs who lost their lives in Pulwama," PM Modi had said at a rally in Maharashtra.

In her petition, Dev has also said the PM had violated poll code when he held a roadshow on the day of polling in Gujarat on April 23, which was the date of voting in the third phase of the polls.

On Saturday, Congress had said they might move the highest court if the EC did not take any action against Modi and Shah.

"We are astonished and sadly compelled to say that the Model Code of Conduct has become Modi code of conduct," Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had said in a press conference.

The Congress alleged that the EC had ignored the party’s complaints and failed to take action against Modi and BJP president for their "hateful, virulent and divisive" campaign speeches and the "politicisation of the valour" of the armed forces at election rallies for "cheap electoral gains".

Last week, the EC had said it was examining Modi’s poll speeches and when Congress raised concerns, the election office in Barmer, Rajasthan, sent a report on the PM’s speech in region to the poll body on Saturday.