Quoting an order issued by the Supreme Court a few weeks back, the Election Commission of India ordered instructed all political parties not to seek votes on the basis of religion and castes. The EC’s strongly-worded letter to party supremos, states that the Commission will not stand by like a ‘silent spectator’. Rather, it’ll take a strict action against election contestants and campaigners who violate the Supreme Court’s order.
This decision has been taken seeing that the Assembly elections are just around the corner in five Indian states mainly Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Out of these, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are highly sensitive zones due to population diversity. For those who don’t know, the Election Commission is planning to contest elections between February 4 and March 8. Therefore, the Supreme Court has strictly ordered the region EC offices, political parties and the population to follow the model code of conduct.
EC Warning Reminds the Parties to Beware of their Statements
In the letter, the election authorities asked the political leaders to refrain themselves from making statements in public that could create disharmony between different religious groups or castes. Instructing them to follow the Apex Court’s will, the EC said it’ll take strict actions against the offenders under all power available.
The situation arose after the Congress leaders filed a complaint against BJP MP SakshiMaharaj’s offensive remarks against the Muslim community. In this regard, the offender was asked to submit an explanation to the court by January 11.
Sakshi Maharaj says he was Misquoted by the Opposition
While addressing a religious event in Meerut last week, Sakshi Maharaj made controversial statements on cow slaughter and the increasing population of India. According to the MP, India is emerging as a breeding ground of terrorism and social issues due to population inflation that results in mismanagement. The Hindus cannot be blamed for this situation. The people who’re responsible for this are the ones who talk of ‘four wives and forty children’. He also dropped hints that the money earned from cattle slaughter is being diverted to the terrorist groups around the world.
This statement attracted the attention of political parties, especially the Congress leaders that saw it as a violation of the SC’s order that bars candidates from commenting on any particular religion or caste. While Sakshi Maharaj claimed that he didn’t speak of any religion in particular, the BJP high command distanced itself from his comments and market them off as his personal opinions that had nothing to do with party ideologies.
In past the Constitution had banned SP leader Azam Khan and BJP President Amit Shah under Article 324 for making such statements before the elections. Therefore, the committee instructed all candidates to take these elections sportingly. They conducted a special conference this Tuesday where they circulated written instructions to all district-level electoral officers.
Hopefully, now all the political parties will campaign sincerely. The move will also prevent so-called ‘secular parties’ from targeting a particular community for building up their vote banks.