Civil Society Organisations In Karnataka File Complaint Against Hate Speech By PM Modi

Narendra Modi

A complaint by civil society organisations and concerned citizens was submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka today to demand immediate and strict action against PM Narendra Modi for his divisive, hateful remarks against the Muslim community and spreading false information in his election campaign in Rajasthan.

The delegation met with the CEO to hand over a complaint, a copy of the Preamble of the Constitution and the Model Code of Conduct. They demanded that in compliance with laws and guidelines, the Election Commission of India must take immediate action to disqualify Mr. Modi and ban his election campaign. They also demanded that an FIR be immediately registered against Mr. Modi invoking penal provisions regarding hate speech and disrupting communal harmony. He not only made false and provocative statements but promoted dangerous stereotypes of Muslims to incite hatred and garner Hindu votes.

Manoj Kumar Meena, Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka said that he can only forward these memorandums and complaints to the ECI since it is not in his jurisdiction.

Upon being told that such hate speeches have ripple effects in the local contexts, with BJP leaders and candidates also inciting hatred against Muslims, he said, “We are taking action and filing FIRs whenever there is hate speech. It is not in my power to bar any candidate from campaigning. We have also not issued notices to political parties because we have anyway taken criminal action.”

However, as per Instruction No. 35 in the Election Commission’s letter dated 2-1-2024, in the Compendium of Instructions on the Model Code of Conduct 2024 at Clause 14, it is specified that the CEO or DEO or RO is required to issue notice to the star campaigner as well as the political party when there is any violation and release publicly.

The organisations that submitted this letter are:
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Bahutva Karnataka
All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice (AILAJ)
Campaign against Hate Speech (Hate Speech Beda)
People’s Watch
National Federation for Indian Women (NFIW)
National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
Human Rights Forum (HRF)
Law and Policy Research Institute
Save the Nation
Thamizhnadu Podhumedai
Bharat Jodo Abhiyan, Mumbai
Students for People’s Democracy
All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA)

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