The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for alleged disparaging remarks made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its social media handle and asked it to respond to the charge of Model Code of Conduct violation by Thursday.
Issuing a notice to AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal, the EC said, “Whereas, the Aam Aadmi Party is a registered political party and is classified as a recognised national party. A complaint dated November 10, 2023 was received from the representatives of the BJP regarding two recent tweets from the official handle of X. It has been alleged in the complaint that the aforesaid tweets have portrayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and star campaigner of the BJP in a disparaging, insulting and defamatory manner.
“This has been done with the scurrilous and malicious intent to adversely affect the candidature of the party’s representatives standing for election, by influencing the sensibilities of voters through false propaganda, and to thereby prejudice the prospects of that candidate’s election and influence the outcome of the above state elections to wrongfully gain votes in the ensuing elections.”
The poll panel also said that the aforesaid complaint alleges violation of Section 123(4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and Section 171G, 499 and 501 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Model Code of Conduct.
In its notice to the AAP, the EC stated, “The national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party is hereby called upon to explain the statements or allegations or averments, made in the alleged social media posts under reference, against a star campaigner of another national party and against the political party and by insinuation and innuendo against the candidates for the state elections and to show cause why appropriate action for violation of Model Code of Conduct read with relevant election and penal laws should not be taken against you.”
“In the event of no response from your side within the stipulated time, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in the matter and the Election Commission will take appropriate action or decision in the mater without making any further reference to you,” the poll panel said.
A BJP delegation led by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had approached the poll panel on November 10 and demanded action against the AAP for posting “very unacceptable” and “unethical” video clips and remarks on a social media platform targeting Modi.
Assembly elections are underway in four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
Polling for Mizoram ended on November 7 and for the 20 Assembly seats of Chhattisgarh in the first phase. Counting of votes will take place on December 3.