Prima facie violation of the MCC by Prime Minister Modi at a recent RBI function

Modi RBI
PM Narendra Modi with (from left) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, CM Eknath Shinde on Monday. (PTI)


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,

While taking part in the anniversary of the RBI, Prime Minister Modi is reported to have made a political statement which in my view violates the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) requiring the Commission to issue a show cause notice to him.

The said function was a public function associated with the RBI which is a statutory authority and a statement that literally implied that BJP would come back to power in the elections was a veiled appeal (or threat?) to the public servants taking part in the function in connection with the elections.

May I call upon you to get the veracity of the report verified and initiate action urgently?

In the past, I addressed you on a similar prima facie MCC violation committed by the Prime Minister in Tamil Nadu (( on which the Commission, perhaps out of an inexplicable fear of the political executive, chose not to act till date. 

It pains me to find that Commission has often been in an undue haste to proceed against the leaders of the opposition political parties for MCC violations far less serious, but totally unwilling to act against BJP’s star campaigner, Shri Modi and other senior leaders of the party, reinforcing the widespread public perception that the Commission is no longer apolitical in conducting the elections. As a result, the conduct of the Commission has come under intense debate and scrutiny. 

As I had pointed out to you in my earlier letters, some of your predecessora are remembered for their political neutrality, while others who were not so apolitical have been forgotten. The fact remains that the Commission is a Constitutional authority vested with adequate powers under Article 324 to conduct elections in a free and fair manner, in a way that inspires both public trust and trust from all political parties. If you fail to live upto the intent underlying Article 324, you will be committing a grave breach of that Article and, more important, a grave breach of public trust.

I hope that the three of you discuss what I have said and elevate the functioning of the Commission to meet the expectations of the public.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to the Government of India


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