Shah toys with Code of Conduct, SC demands Details of EC’s Clean Chits

Written by SabrangIndia | Published on: May 7, 2019
Just a day after the ECI cleared PM Narendra Modi and in cases of alleged violation of the Election Model Code of Conduct, in record time to meet the SC deadline to decide on of all such cases, Modi's close confidante and BJP president Amit Shah is toying with the Code of Conduct. 


 
Addressing a rally in Ghatal in West Bengal, Shah reportedly said, “I want to ask Mamata didi, if Shri Ram's name is not taken in India, will it be chanted in Pakistan?" This comes dangerously close to violating Code of Conduct provisions against invoking religion to seek votes. 
Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission of India to decide on all pending cases of poll code violation against Modi and Shah by May 6. This was in response to a petition filed by Congress MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev, who said that they have given 11 representations to EC against the duo but it has taken decision on only two.

The EC then went on an overdrive and finished the task in record time handing out clean chitslike candy on Halloween! Modi got successive clean chits for his speeches made at rallies in Wardha, Latur and Barmer. He was also given a clean chit in a case of using Wing Commander Abhinandan’s name as a part of an election campaign. This despite the EC's own clear directive against using the defense forces for asking for votes!
However, reports have emerged that not all decisions on Modi’s poll code violations were unanimous. In at least two instances where PM Modi was given a clean chit, at least one Commissioner dissented. These are the instances of Modi’s speeches made in Wardha and Latur. The decision was made by a panel comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra. So if one person dissented, it was majority opinion that decided the case.

However, on Monday May 6, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who appeared for Congress MP Sushmita Dev in her petition before the Supreme Court submitted that in six of the cases disposed of, there were dissenting notes in five cases! He also submitted that the dissenting notes had not been supplied to them. This prompted the bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi to pass a directive demanding that the EC produce the details of the decisions in each case before the court. The matter has been adjourned to May 8.    

Brief background of “Jai Shree Ram” chant matter
This was in reference to the detention of three men for chanting “Jai Shree Ram” and stopping WB CM Mamata Banerjee’s cavalcadeat Ballavpur village when it was en route from Keshpur to Chandrakhona in Medenipur. A video of the incident went viral. The three men were detained, questioned and subsequently released.
Following the incident PM Modi had dared Banerjee to arrest him for saying “Jai Shree Ram”. And now his closest confidante has made a similar statement that comes close to violating the EMCC code about not asking for votes in the name of religion.