Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Civil Society Groups Demand Action from ECI on MCC Violations, Hate Speeches

Civil Society Groups Demand Action from ECI on MCC Violations, Hate Speeches

In a show of dissent, multiple civil society organizations across India have come together to protest against what they consider the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) laxity in addressing violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and the increasing incidents of hate speech during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

These groups, which include prominent legal and human rights organizations, have specifically targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling on the ECI to ban him from campaigning for 96 hours and to file a First Information Report (FIR) against him for alleged hate speeches.

The protest, which took place in major cities such as Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, featured a symbolic postcard campaign. Hundreds of postcards, each bearing the image of a spine, were sent to the ECI’s headquarters in Delhi, conveying the message “Grow a Spine or Resign.”

The joint complaint highlights several areas of concern:

Manipulation of Voter Turnout Data: The campaigners point out that the ECI has only shared voter turnout percentages, without providing absolute numbers. Citing discrepancies in the 2019 elections where the votes polled did not match the votes counted in over 370 constituencies, the groups express concerns about potential manipulation of vote counts.

Inaction on Hate Speech: The complaint accuses Prime Minister Modi of making speeches that allegedly incite communal disharmony, which they claim violates both the MCC and the Representation of People’s Act. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also criticized for not removing a contentious video even after an FIR was filed in Karnataka, and for supposedly using religious symbols in their campaigns.

Bias in Addressing MCC Violations: The document criticizes the ECI for its alleged disproportionate action against opposition figures for MCC breaches, while ignoring more serious violations by members of the ruling party.

Surrogate Advertising and Online Campaigns: The groups criticize the lack of scrutiny over surrogate advertising and targeted online campaigns, which they argue could unduly influence voter perceptions.

Threats and Withdrawal of Candidates: Reports of threats to candidates and inducements offered to them to switch parties or withdraw their candidacies are also mentioned, with no substantial action taken by the ECI to investigate these claims.

The protesting organizations, which include the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, National Alliance for People’s Movements, and the All India Lawyers Association for Justice, among others, have collectively called for a national campaign to hold the ECI accountable. Along with these organizations, the letter of complaint was signed by 222 individuals, including lawyers, activists, filmmakers, academics, and concerned citizens.

This movement marks a crucial moment in the ongoing electoral process, emphasizing the demand for greater accountability and fairness in the conduct of elections in India. The ECI has yet to respond to the allegations and demands raised by the civil society groups.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like