Yogi Adityanadh’s latest reported statement violates the Model Code of Conduct

Shri Yogi Adityanadh’s latest reported statement violates the MCC, and attracts liability under Sections 123 & 125 of the Representation of People Act and the relevant provisions of the IPC- Has the Commission acted?

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,

I am sure that the Commission is fully aware of a statement reported to have been made by Shri Yogi Adityanadh to the effect that the ongoing elections are a contest between “Rambhakts” and “Ramdrohis” (https://www.aninews.in/news/national/politics/this-election-is-between-ram-bhakts-and-ramdrohis-cm-yogi20240508233155/)

Prima facie, the above cited statement amounts not only to a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) but also an infringement of Sections 123 & 125 of the Representation of People Act (RPA), apart from the said statements amounting to dividing the society on religious lines and promoting hatred, also attract the penal provisions of the IPC (and its successor legislation).

Under the RPA, such a statement amounts to the person making it to be deemed to have committed a corrupt practice attracting outright disqualification.

In this connection, I invite your attention to my previous correspondence on the subject, more particularly to my recent two letters (https://countercurrents.org/2024/05/pms-ayodhya-procession-has-the-election-commission-exempted-modi-from-the-model-code-of-conduct/ & https://countercurrents.org/2024/05/inaction-on-the-part-of-the-commission-adversely-impacts-not-only-the-ensuing-elections-but-also-affects-the-future-of-our-dem)

I must express my disappointment and anguish at the continuing silence and inaction on the part of the Commission to act against the star campaigners of the BJP, especially when they are openly making statements that create fissures in the society on the basis of religion and permanently hurting societal harmony and cohesion. By its inaction, I am afraid that each one of you needs to be considered a willing party to such statutory violations being committed by BJP’s star campaigners, especially Prime Minister Modi, not once, not twice, but multiple times. What then is the role of the Commission vis-a-vis its mandate under Article 324 of the Constitution?

The least I can say in this connection is that the nation is not fortunate enough to have an Election Commission that cares for the mandate under Article 324, the provisions of the RPA and the provisions of the IPC, for the Commission to be bold enough to act against the high and mighty of the BJP. Your inaction during the ongoing elections would, in my view, leave an ugly imprint on the society for a long time to come, eroding the credibility of the Commission and the trust that the public repose in that institution.

What more would you like me to say about the way you are conducting these elections?

If you can ponder again and again over what I have said in this letter and what I had repeatedly emphasised in my earlier correspondence, if you care to review your respective roles as Election Commissioners and consider the fact that it is the public that meets the expenditure on the elaborate machinery of the Commission and considers the fact that it is the public that expects the Commission to play a politically neutral, effective role, I hope you will reorient your role before it is too late.

Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma
Former Secretary to the Government of India
Visakhapatnam

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