JharkhandLok Sabha elections

Inflammatory Modi Speeches Raise Concerns: Loktantra Bachao 2024 Demands Action From ECI

Loktantra Bachao 2024 lodges formal complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleged hate speech violations, citing inflammatory remarks aimed at instilling fear and communal tension in recent Jharkhand rallies

Ranchi: A delegation representing the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign met with Jharkhand’s Chief Election Officer, K Ravi Kumar, today, to formally lodge a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and the Representation of People Act during recent speeches in Jharkhand. Despite meticulously documenting instances of what they deemed as inflammatory and communal rhetoric by the PM, along with citing specific sections of the MCC and RP Act purportedly breached, the delegation found the CEO unresponsive to their concerns.

Prime Minister Modi, in his addresses at rallies in Chaibasa, Palamau, and Gumla on May 3rd and 4th, purportedly made statements misinforming the public, alleging that the Congress Party was scheming to deprive Adivasis and other communities of their property, ostensibly to benefit Muslims. His language, described as derogatory, included terms such as ‘infiltrators’ and ‘vote jihad’. Additionally, he allegedly propagated misinformation that the Congress Party aimed to reallocate reservation quotas from Adivasis, Dalits, and OBCs to Muslims. The delegation argued that such statements aimed to instill fear of Muslims among voters and foster reliance on the BJP for protection, thus violating the MCC’s prohibition against activities that may exacerbate existing differences or incite communal tension.

Furthermore, the delegation contended that these statements contravened Section 3(A) of the Representation of People Act, which prohibits candidates from promoting enmity or hatred among citizens based on religion, race, caste, community, or language. They referenced the Supreme Court’s directives, particularly in the “ASHWINI KUMAR UPADHYAY versus UNION OF INDIA & ORS.” case, which called for the automatic filing of FIRs against hate speech under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The delegation emphasized the gravity of such communal rhetoric, particularly when emanating from the Prime Minister, who serves as a model for others. They expressed concern over the proliferation of similar speeches by other BJP leaders, warning of the rapid spread of divisive sentiments.

However, despite the delegation’s efforts to engage with him, the CEO displayed little interest in the complaint. He offered no substantial response or commitment to action, merely stating that the complaint would need to undergo review, inquiry, and eventual forwarding to the Election Commission of India. When pressed for details on measures to address inflammatory speech in the future, the CEO remained non-committal.

Comprising well-known social activists of Jharkhand Elina Horo, Jean Drèze, Siraj Dutta and Tom Kavla, the delegation represented a collective effort to hold political leaders accountable for their rhetoric and ensure adherence to electoral laws aimed at preserving communal harmony and the integrity of the democratic process.

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