EC sends notice to BJP and Congress over hate speech complaints

The Election Commission (EC) issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President J P Nadda on Thursday on a complaint lodged by the Opposition parties alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had violated the model code of conduct during his speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara on Sunday.

This is the first time the EC, according to its officials, has taken cognizance of a model code of conduct complaint against a sitting prime minister. The poll body has asked Nadda to respond by Monday to the complaints filed by several parties, including the Congress and Left parties, as well as civil society groups. These groups have flagged the prime minister’s speech as “divisive and derogatory”.

The EC also issued a notice to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, asking him to respond to the complaints filed by the BJP against him and party leader Rahul Gandhi. These complaints concern remarks made by them in their respective election speeches in recent days.

Following these developments, the Congress claimed that the EC is “super, super cautious” when it comes to complaints against the prime minister. Its leader Jairam Ramesh pointed out that the notice has been given to the BJP president, not the prime minister.