Taking a strong exception to PM Narendra Modi’s invocation of the success of the armed forces and the recent martyrdom of security personnel, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday wrote to the Election Commission, seeking action against the PM for “violating the code”.
Terming Modi’s speech in Maharashtra, which has been widely reported in the media, as “shockingly disgraceful”, the Chief Minister said it is “a clear case of violation of the code of conduct” and the failure to check such instances suggested a bias on the part of the Election Commission.
In his letter to CEC Sunil Arora, Amarinder protested against the PM using the success of the Balakot air strikes by the IAF and the sacrifice of the martyrs of the Pulwama attacks to woo first-time voters.
“That a person of the PM’s stature should indulge in such shameful acts makes a mockery of the democratic process and undermines the independence of the Election Commission as well as the armed forces,” the CM wrote.
Amarinder described as “extremely unfortunate” the fact that the PM was being allowed to engage in this kind of “prejudicial behaviour”, without the Election Commission taking any action.
“That the PM has been allowed to continuously and brazenly resort to such gimmickry to woo voters raises suspicions of bias on the part of the Election Commission,” he said.
The CM said the Election Commission, while asking political parties not to use photographs of defence personnel in their campaign, had said: “The Armed Forces are the guardians of a nation’s frontiers. They are apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy. It is necessary that political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the armed forces in their campaigns.”
The CM requested the CEC’s urgent intervention “to put an immediate end to such gross violations of the code of conduct by the ruling party and its leaders.”