Congress Alleges Gujarat Speaker’s BJP Canvassing, Seeks EC Intervention

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Congress Alleges Gujarat Speaker’s BJP Canvassing, Seeks EC Intervention

| Updated: April 12, 2024 20:51

The Gujarat Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking “immediate action” against Assembly Speaker Shankar Chaudhary for allegedly “canvassing for the BJP” in Banaskantha. The party has accused Chaudhary of campaigning for BJP candidate Rekha Chaudhary at Vav and Tharad in Banaskantha.

The complaint, dated April 11, states that an Assembly Speaker ceases to be a member of any political party from the day he is appointed to the post and hence, cannot canvass for any party. The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) spokesperson Manish Doshi also attached purported videos of the campaign with the complaint. In the video, Chaudhary can be seen addressing a gathering and making predictions about the election results in the district of Banaskantha.

The Congress’s complaint cites Para II of Chapter IX of ‘Parliamentary Traditions and Procedures Part I’, stating that “the moment he becomes a Speaker, he becomes completely detached from political activities and he does not belong to any political party”. The complaint alleges that “Speaker Shankarbhai Chaudhary has violated the principles of Parliamentary Traditions and Procedures Part-I Chapter IX” and calls for immediate action to restrain him from any political campaigning in the upcoming parliament election 2024.

However, the BJP has hit back at the allegations. Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas, in a statement, said the Congress, which has suffered a defeat in the entire country and in Gujarat, is trying to damage the dignified post of the Assembly Speaker. He added that the event the Congress is referring to was not a “party programme” and that the reply will be given to the Election Commission.

Vyas also stated that the Speaker has been maintaining restraint against a Congress candidate, despite several public allegations made against him. He added that the Speaker has not responded to such allegations and has not served a breach of privilege notice, despite being deserving of one.

The elections to all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in the third phase on May 7.

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