Congress Moves EC Against Alleged Misuse of Govt Machinery For Modi's Campaign

The opposition party also asked the EC to issue directives against a rally to be held at Sagar in Madhya Pradesh by the prime minister.

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday moved the Election Commission against alleged misuse of the Prime Minister’s Office to collect information in advance about places where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to campaign.

The opposition also asked the poll body to issue directives against a rally scheduled to be held by Prime Minister Modi in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh on May 6.

The Congress claimed that the rally in Sagar could influence polling in the adjoining Damoh parliamentary seat.

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, speaking outside the EC, said the party made two representations to the EC, including one on the alleged misuse of government machinery for campaigning.

“The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is “misusing” the NITI Aayog and asking it to write letters to the district administration of those places where the prime minister is scheduled to campaign in the next few days,” he claimed.

In the letter, details of places such as its cultural significance have been sought, Singhvi alleged, adding that local administrations have been asked to send the details within a day.

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The prime minister is like any other campaigner and the state machinery cannot be misused for campaigning, he said.

The Congress leader also said that 40 years ago former prime minister Indira Gandhi got debarred on a similar charge.

“We have asked the EC to put an immediate stop to this,” he said.

In the second representation, the Congress said on May 6, the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Damoh parliamentary constituency will be going to polls and an election rally is being organised by Prime Minister Modi in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh.

“The peculiar problem in this case is that three tehsils and assembly constituencies of Sagar district – Banda, Rehli and Deori – form part of the Damoh parliamentary constituency,” according to the representation.

The Congress asserted that the rally would influence the election in Damoh in more than one way and sought that the BJP not be permitted to conduct the rally in Sagar.