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Complaint Against PM’s ‘Infiltrators’ Remark Being Examined By EC

| Updated: April 23, 2024 17:30

The Election Commission (EC) has received a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial ‘infiltrators’ remark at a rally in Rajasthan on Sunday, sources said, adding that it is under consideration and was ‘examined’.

In a scathing attack on the Congress, PM Modi, at a rally in Banswara had said, “The Congress manifesto says they will calculate the gold with mothers and sisters, get information about it and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom – Manmohan Singh’s government had said that Muslims have the first right to the country’s assets.”

“Earlier, when their (Congress) government was in power, they had said that Muslims have the first right to the country’s assets. This means to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed amongst those who have more children.”

“It will be distributed to the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money go to the infiltrators? Do you approve of this?” he said.

“Do you accept this? Does the government have a right to seize your property? Gold is not for showing off, it is linked to women’s self-respect. Her mangalsutra is linked to her dreams. You want to snatch it?” PM Modi said, adding that the Congress was now “in the grip of urban Naxals”.

A delegation of Congress leaders approached the Election Commission and submitted complaints against the PM, urging it to take action against him for his ‘redistribution of wealth’ speech. The Congress alleged that PM Modi was lying and was creating a divide between Hindus and Muslims.

The party alleged that PM Modi’s “redistribution of wealth” remark made at the Rajasthan poll rally was “divisive” and “malicious”, adding that the Prime Minister was using religion to ask voters to refrain from voting for the Congress.

The Congress said the speech was “blatantly defamatory”, “false” and “unverified allegations” against the party.

Stating that it was a “trial of the EC” too, the Congress said the poll panel “risks tarnishing its legacy and abandoning its Constitutional duty by setting a precedent of helpless inaction that will go down in infamy”.

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi, who led the delegation to the EC, said, “This is not only the trial of those against whom we have filed a complaint. It is a trial of the EC itself. It is a trial of our Constitutional spirit and ethos… hope that nobody fails that trial.”

The Congress asserted that Modi’s comments reached an “unprecedented degree” of malice and constituted offences punishable under the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as violating provisions outlined in the Model Code of Conduct.
The Congress, in its 11-page petition, stated, “These alarming and brazen violations committed by the PM… call for the immediate exercise of the Commission’s powers under Article 324 of the Constitution.”

The Congress said Modi and senior BJP leaders have “deliberately and repeatedly, invoked religion, religious symbols and religious sentiments in its election campaign… These actions have been further bolstered by the Commission’s inaction in penalising the PM and the BJP for their blatant and direct violations of electoral laws”.

Stating that the BJP, including the PM, has frequently resorted to religion to propagate divisive and hate-driven remarks throughout this election campaign, the Congress said that despite numerous complaints lodged by them, the EC has yet to issue a show-cause notice.
The party said, “The Commission must ask itself if the same leeway would be granted to any other candidate if they so arrogantly and repeatedly defied the laws of our country.”

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a group of civil society activists too asked the EC to take action against Modi. The CPI (M) urged the EC to promptly initiate proceedings against Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “An FIR needs to be lodged for inciting communal passions and hatred. The ECI’s failure to take suitable action will further undermine its credibility as an autonomous institution and lead to further vitiation of the environment for a free and fair poll.”

Yechury expressed hope that the Supreme Court (SC) would independently recognise Modi’s “incendiary speech” and issue a contempt of court notice for disregarding its rulings on hate speech, followed by the most severe punishment.

The CPI (M) said the Mandir Marg police station in Delhi refused to take its complaint against Modi. The party said the complaint has been forwarded to the Delhi Police Commissioner.

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