In response to the show cause notices issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for violating the model code of conduct earlier this week, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has filed her response while Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal has sought time until November 20, HT has learnt. The deadline for both was the evening of November 16. The EC had issued both show cause notices in response to complaints filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
HT reached out to the Congress and the AAP but did not receive a response.
Vadra was issued a notice for making “unverified and false statements” about Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public rally in Sanwer, Madhya Pradesh. She had said, in Hindi, “Mr Modi, what did you do with BHEL through which we got employment, through which the nation progressed? Mr Modi, tell us whom did you give it to? Why did you give it to big industrialist friends?”
The AAP was instructed to “explain” two tweets against Modi posted from the party’s official handle. In one tweet, the AAP had mocked Modi for being businessman Gautam Adani’s puppet while the second tweet showed a photograph of Modi against Adani in the background with the line (translated as): “I, Narendra Modi, do not work for the public but for my owner.”
In both the notices, the EC reiterated its May 2023 directive regarding the “plummeting level of public discourse during campaigning”.
The model code of conduct has been in effect since October 9 in the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana due to the Assembly elections.
The November 14 show cause notice against Vadra was the second such notice to be issued in the last three weeks. It is understood that Vadra had replied to the previous notice, issued on October 26, within the stipulated time frame.