PM’s interview to ANI news channel prima facie violates the Model Code of Conduct

by Jagdeep S. Chhokar & E A S Sarma

Modi Interview

To
Shri Rajiv Kumar

Chief Election Commissioner

Shri Gyanesh Kumar

Election Commissioner

Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu 

Election Commissioner

Dear Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, S/Shri Gyanesh Kumar/ Rajiv Kumar,

We refer to an interview given by the Prime Minister to the ANI news agency recently, which can be accessed at https://youtu.be/0XLctFnrXTE?si=wMHs2q-5nIOOX4p9.

We feel that the interview prima facie violates the requirements of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) as follows.

  • The portions of the PM’s interview relating to references to Ayodhya and Sanatana Dharma, based on misrepresentation of the views of other political parties, amount to appealing to the religious sentiments of voters to vote for the ruling political party to the disadvantage of other parties
  • The PM’s assertion on the so-called “transparency” of the Electoral Bonds scheme, recently held to be illegal by the apex court, is factually incorrect, having the effect of misleading voters
  • The ANI interview, lasting more than 67 minutes, as a part of the electioneering campaign of the PM, amounts to the ruling party taking advantage of its sway over the media to gain an undue advantage vis-a-vis the other political parties to secure an electoral advantage over them. It also amounts to the ruling political party misusing a media channel free of cost to convey to the voters many schemes proposed to be introduced, such as a new scheme proposed for corporate political donations, which are not a part of BJP’s election manifesto

We request the Election Commission to initiate action against those concerned urgently.

Yours sincerely,

Jagdeep S. Chhokar

Former Professor, IIM (Ahmedabad)

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to the Government of India

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