The Election Commission (EC) issued a show-cause notice on Tuesday to the Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, who is also the Delhi chief minister, for violating model code of conduct by allegedly making disparaging comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the party's social media handle. The EC directed AAP to respond to the charge within two days by November 16, Thursday.
BJP approaches EC
The move comes after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) approached the EC on November 10 seeking action against the AAP, which has governments in Delhi and Punjab, for posting "very unacceptable" and "unethical" video on Modi on its social media handles. The video in question is the one that AAP posted on X (formerly Twitter) showing Modi alongside businessman Gautam Adani. The party also posted a photo of Modi and Adami, alleging that instead of working for the public, the prime minister worked for the businessman.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, party national media in-charge and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni and party leader Om Pathak, had approached the EC over the videos and photo.
"From its official handle, the AAP has posted a video and two tweets (posts on X) in which it has said very unacceptable, reprehensible, mischievous and unethical things about the democratically elected head of the government," Puri said. "It is saying in it (these posts) that a democratically elected leader, who happens to be the prime minister, is a paid employee of some individual," the Union minister said and added this act of the AAP was a new low in politics.
EC's notice to AAP
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/allegations/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.
Assembly polls are underway in five states -- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.
(With inputs from PTI)