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PMO misusing official machinery for polls – Indira Gandhi’s election was cancelled for it



PMO misusing official machinery for polls – Indira Gandhi’s election was cancelled for it

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There are a couple of days left for Election Commission to decide all the pending complaints of violation of Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

A significant complaint among the lot – most of which are about seeking votes for actions of armed forces – is one relating to a kind of charge that had led to former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s 1971 election being declared null and void and her disqualification from holding elected office for six years.

This is about misuse of official machinery by the Prime Minister for electoral purposes, reported first by a news portal after which Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) complained to Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India last Wednesday (May 1).

Yechury wrote: “Across the country, there is a growing concern about the manner in which the Election Commission of India is dealing with the complaints regarding the gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Shri Narendra Modi.”

Citing a news article in Scroll.in, Yechury said, “Now a web magazine has published an article showing the manner in which government infrastructure and machinery has been brazenly used by the Prime Minister’s Office for securing information from various ministries, as well as, concerned state and district administration to provide inputs for preparing his election speeches.”

Former prime minister Indira Gandhi had been disqualified for violation “of far less import than … those committed by Shri Narendra Modi,” Yechury added, mentioning an article by another web magazine.

Expressing unhappiness with EC approach in dealing with complaints against PM, Yechury said: “…the question is, is Shri Narendra Modi, a BJP candidate from  Varanasi constituency in Uttar Pradesh and a star campaigner  for the BJP, is needed to be treated differently from the enforcement of MCC for the simple reason that he happens to be the incumbent Prime Minister?  We are constrained to raise this question because of want of appropriate response from the Commission in the past, which is adequately empowered by the Constitution to deal with this in a firm and decisive manner.”

The Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct, which has been in place since March 10, states that “ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel during the electioneering work.”

The report on news portal Scroll was about an email message showing that the government’s NITI Aayog think tank asked bureaucrats in Union territories and at least one BJP-ruled state to send the Prime Minister’s Office inputs on local area knowledge ahead of the leader’s visits to these places.

If confirmed, this would mean that PM Modi has violated not just the model code of conduct (MCC) – but also the same law under which former prime minister Indira Gandhi was convicted. That conviction, in June of 1975, led the Allahabad high court to debar her from parliament, and precipitated her declaration of a state of Emergency.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1556886085585{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #cecece !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]The email obtained by Scroll.in appears to be from Pinky Kapoor, the NITI Aayog’s economic officer (coordination of states), addressed to bureaucrats, including some chief secretaries, in the Union Territories. On April 8, she allegedly wrote:

“Hon’ble Prime Minister is likely to visit UTs very shortly. The Prime Minister’s Office has desired a write-up on the following by 2.00 Pm tomorrow evening i.e. 09.04.2019 on the following:

Write-up on:

Highlights and important features of UTs – Historical, local heroes, Culture, Religious, Economic (including details like major crops, industry, etc.).

II Profile of UTs with special reference to Tourism, Agriculture and employment/ livelihood

It is requested to kindly provide positively the requisite information/ write-up / materials positively by 2.00 pm tomorrow i.e. 09.04.2019 at pinky.kapoor@nic.in.”

Scroll.in claims to have also seen evidence of a similar request to a collector in BJP-ruled Maharashtra. Shortly before prime minister Modi addressed rallies in the state – in Wardha, Gondia and Latur – the collector of Gondia district, KadambariBalkawade, had sent a note to the NITI Aayog profiling the district. The subject line of the email was: “Write up/information for Gondia District for Prime Minister’s Office”.


Indira Gandhi’s case:

In the general election of 1971, Indira Gandhi’s Congress had won by a historic landslide. Indira won her seat from Rae Bareli, defeating the socialist candidate Raj Narain, who then took her to court for violating the Representation of the People Act.

At issue was section 123(7)(a) of the Act, which deems it a “corrupt practice” for a candidate or their agent – or anyone acting with the candidate’s consent – to obtain any assistance from gazetted officers “in furtherance of the prospects of that candidate’s election”.

It was alleged that Indira Gandhi had appointed a government official, Yashpal Kapoor, as her campaign organiser. It was also alleged that local officials and police had been directed to arrange her campaign meetings.

Kapoor had put in his resignation from the prime minister’s secretariat. The question before the Allahabad high court was whether his resignation had been formalised before his work on her personal campaign began.

On June 12, 1975, the Allahabad high court found the prime minister guilty under section 123(7)(a) of the Act, and “disqualified her for a period of six years” from holding elected office – and thus, from being prime minister.

Indira appealed. Yet, the opposition protests and outcry for her resignation drove her to declare the Emergency two weeks later, on June 25.

In PM Modi’s case, the alleged violation took place between end-March and early April, with some gazetted officers asked to assist the ruling party’s campaign just two days before voting began.


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Big opposition meet in Patna on June 23: Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal among others to attend

The meeting will be attended by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.



opposition parties

A mega opposition meet is scheduled to take place in Patna, Bihar on June 23. A meeting that is expected to bring a series of opposition parties from across the country together at the same table.

The meeting will be attended by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

The meeting will also witness the presence of Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray and Samajwadi Party National President Akhilesh Yadav and Bihar’s Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.

Leaders of the left front are also likely to join the meeting.

The huge meeting convened by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal(United) supremo Nitish Kumar was earlier slated to take place on June 12. Reports said the decision to change in dates was taken after Congress announced Kharge and Gandhi would not be able to be part of the meeting on June 12 due to prior commitments.

This will be the first mega meeting of all the opposition parties together, which was in planning for almost two months now. Bihar CM Kumar had started his bid for opposition unity against the Centre ruling BJP in April when he met Kharge and Gandhi in Delhi with his deputy Yadav and other leaders of Bihar Mahagathbandhan.

The Agenda of the meeting in Patna is expected to be deciding a common strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Opposition parties have been throwing signals of unity for some months now, the most recent one, the boycott of the inauguration of the new Parliament building by 20 like-minded opposition parties, the show of strength- leaders of different parties shared the stage while attending the swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah as Karnataka CM on May 20.

Congress leader KC Venugopal said they believe in unity and are committed to the purpose of defending democracy. He further added they would surely defeat the divisive forces which are in power at the Centre.

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Shiv Sena, BJP to fight Lok Sabha elections together: CM Eknath Shinde declares after meeting Amit Shah

Shinde informed the meeting was held with Shah yesterday night.



Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday, posting a picture from his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the BJP and Shiv Sena to unitedly fight all the upcoming elections including the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Shinde tweeted a picture, in which along with him and Shah, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis can also be seen.

Shinde informed the meeting was held with Shah yesterday night.

Shinde in the caption with the picture informed, in the meeting, it was decided that the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra to contest all the upcoming elections in the state together, which includes the state assembly elections, local body elections and the mega 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Shinde added, for the sake of Maharashtra’s development, their alliance is strong and in the past 11 months of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, the government has taken major steps towards progress of the state and has also given permission to the policies that were at halt.

Confident Shinde said, in the future elections, they will contest together and will win with majority to make Maharashtra as the top ranking state in the country.

The Maharashtra CM further added, discussions related to agriculture and cooperative department also held in the meeting with Shah.

Shinde also hoped for the continuous guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the implementation of policies for development of Maharashtra.

Shinde was a Thackeray family loyalist until last year, when he along with 15 other MLAs in a dramatic turn of events  went against then Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, which resulted to the the collapse of Maha Vikash Aghadi government in the state and the formation of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government with Shinde taking over as the Chief Minister.

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Telugu Desam Party chief  Chandrababu Naidu meets Amit Shah, Nadda, speculation of BJP-TDP alliance

Reports said, both the parties may go into an alliance for the upcoming elections. The meeting between the leaders lasted for about half an hour.



Chandrababu Naidu

Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday evening, met BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to reportedly discuss an alliance ahead of the Telangana assembly election this year and 2024 general elections. The meeting lasted for an hour.

Reports said, both the parties may go into an alliance for the upcoming elections. The meeting between the leaders lasted for about half an hour.

During the Narendra Modi led NDA came to the power at Centre in 2014, Naidu’s TDP was a part of the alliance until March 2018, when it broke the alliance on the special status issue to Andhra Pradesh.

The decision that was taken by Naidu just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he had then said it was in concern with the Centre overlooking Andhra Pradesh in the annual budget of the Centre.

Both the parties came together after the recent municipal elections in Port Blair. In March this year the Port-Blair municipal elections the TDP emerged as the kingmaker backing the BJP in the council formation.

If the two parties extended ties, it is expected to come as a shot in the arm for the BJP which has an aspiring target of expanding its footprint in Andhra Pradesh and and other southern region.

The Centre ruled party recently lost the Karnataka assembly elections, the lone southern state, where the party was in power.

However, the failure of the Karnataka Assembly elections has shifted BJP’s senior leadership’s attention to other states in South India, particularly Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where the party does not want to give the Congress any influence.

Reports said, while the TDP has emerged as one of the key opposition parties in Telangana, it has struggled to find support among the politically dominant castes in Andhra Pradesh.

Amid the speculations of an alliance between the TDP and BJP, both the parties have been throwing signals about a possible alliance in the near future.

The TDP recently distanced itself from the opposition’s move to boycott the Parliament inauguration event and marked its presence.

Reports said, the BJP leadership has made Telangana the party’s priority in its Mission South and has advanced in the state’s local body elections.

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