Prima facie violations of Model Code of Conduct by both INC and Prime Minister Modi in connection with Karnataka Assembly elections


Shri Rajiv Kumar

Chief Election Commissioner


Shri A C Pandey

Election Commissioner


Shri A Goel

Election Commissioner


Dear S/Shri Rajiv Kumar/ Pandey and Goel,

In the specific case of party manifestos, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) says, “While the Commission agrees in principle with the point of view that framing of manifestos is the right of the political parties, it cannot overlook the undesirable impact of some of the promises and offers on the conduct of free and fair elections and maintaining level playing field for all political parties and candidates“.

The Indian National Congress (INC) in its Manifesto for Karnataka elections has the following statement:

“To take strong legal action, including imposing a ban, against groups spreading hatred on grounds of religion or caste, may it be groups such as Bajrang Dal from the majority community, or PFI from minority community”

Prima facie, the above statement, by attributing activities promoting hate to a few specific groups tends to polarise the electorate on religious grounds and thereby can influence the conduct of elections in a free and fair manner. To this extent, this constitutes a prima facie violation of the MCC in so far it relates to parties’ election manifestos.

Following this, it is reported that “campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly elections Wednesday (May 3), Prime Minister Narendra Modi chanted ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’ at all the three public meetings he addressed, in what is being seen as a counter to the Congress promising to ban the right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal in its election manifesto….Before this, Modi had accused the Congress of “trying to lock up those who worship Lord Hanuman” in the same way as it had “earlier locked up Lord Ram (a reference to the Babri Masjid)” (

The MCC states, “No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.”

Keeping in view the background of the highly divisive politics in which the political parties in the State have so far involved themselves, the above statements attributed to Prime Minister Modi, if they have been reported correctly, would tend to accentuate the polarisation of the electorate on communal grounds and therefore amount to a prima facie violation of the MCC, especially coming from a public authority holding such a high office.

I request the Commission to get both these cases of MCC violations investigated urgently and take such action as appropriate not only to penalise those who have been found to have violated the MCC but also to ensure that such divisive statements are not made in the subsequent election meetings.

I hope that the Commission would deal with boty these matters in an objective manner, independent of the official status of those who have been found to have violated the MCC, so that the Karnataka electorate in particular and the public, in general, may be reassured that the Commission as a Constitutional authority set up under Article 324 would not permit any trend that runs counter to the conduct of elections in a free and a fair manner.

I hope that the Commission will deal with this letter in a transparent manner and place its order and the justification for it in the public domain, for the people to see.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to the Government of India




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