Kerala: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor filed a complaint against BJP and the Sabarimala Karma Samithi in Kerala for their “malicious attempts” to appeal to the religious sentiments of voters in the name of Lord Ayappa in an alleged violation of the moral code of conduct.
The complaint was filed after fliers accusing the Congress and communist parties of harming the interests of Sabarimala devotees were distributed in the constituency.
In a letter to the chief electoral officer, Tharoor said there was a malicious attempt by the BJP and the samithi to “vitiate free and fair elections” in the Thiruvananthapurarn Lok Sabha constituency “by publicising materials in a bid to appeal to religious sentiments of the voters”.
The complaint further said the fliers in question — consisting of a letter to the voters by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a poster published by www.bharatkemannkibaat.com and an appeal to the voters by the Sabarimala Karma Samith — were found in many households of Thiruvananthapuram.
“The fliers directly appeal to the religious sentiments of the worshippers of Lord Ayyappa. It misrepresents and distorts the position and image of the Indian National Congress. It alleges that the Indian National Congress and the communist parties are in cahoots to harm the interests of the devotees of the Sabarimala temple,” Tharoor said. He further alleged that false statements have been attributed to his name.
The flier, Tharoor said, is a clear violation of paragraph (2) of Part I [General Conduct] of the MCC and attracts the ambit of Section 171G of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Since appealing to religious sentiments and using religious symbols, is in violation to paragraphs (3) & ( ) of Part I [General Conduct] of the MCC, he has urged the chief electoral officer to take immediate action.