Congress moves SC against Modi's remarks on Rajiv Gandhi

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New Delhi (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi "Bhrashtachari No. 1 (Corrupt No. 1)" at a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh last week.

In an additional affidavit filed before the court, Congress MP Sushmita Dev, said that by making extremely derogatory comments on Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister has committed an "act unbecoming of the high office he holds; made unprecedented obscene/ derogatory remarks in a speech on May 6 by referring to present Congress President Rahul Gandhi's late father and former Prime Minster of India Rajiv Gandhi, in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh."

Dev's additional affidavit came a day after the Supreme Court asked her to put on record the Election Commission (EC)'s order giving clean chit to Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah.

According to the affidavit, Modi allegedly said: "Your father may have been declared 'Mr. Clean' by his courtiers, but he died as 'Bhrashtachari No. 1'. This arrogance will destroy you. This country forgives mistakes but never betrayal."

The Congress also attacked the lack of transparency in the functioning of the EC, and claimed that dissent on record by one of the Election Commissioners has not been provided with the order. 

"This demonstrates a complete lack of transparency and arbitrariness in decision-making process on complaints against Modi and Amit Shah," said the affidavit.

The Congress also said that speeches by Modi and Shah should be declared "corrupt practices" under Section 123A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which "ex-facie promotes feeling of enmity and hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion".

Citing Modi's statement against Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress noted that the poll panel has already placed sanctions on Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for speeches similar in "tone, tenor, purport, and intention". 

The affidavit said this kind of discrimination and arbitrariness is not expected from a poll body, which is, supposed to be unbiased.

Earlier, representing Dev, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the EC has not been reasonable in declining the complaints registered by the Congress party on the violation of the model code of conduct by the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah by purposely using the armed forces in their election campaign in order to gain political mileage. 

He also mentioned that many orders of the poll body contained dissenting notes by its officials. 

The bench asked Dev's counsel to file an additional affidavit in court documenting, on record, the poll body's orders on the complaints of MCC violations by the BJP leaders.

The apex court last week directed the Commission to decide on all the remaining complaints against Modi and Shah filed by the Congress regarding the violation of MCC before May 6.

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