Madhya Pradesh: Congress fumes as CM asks voters to clean out 'hand' in polls; lodges complain of defaming party

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's hygiene-related advice with words like "haath" and "saaf" to voters ahead of the assembly elections in Bihar and other states riled the opposition Congress on Saturday, prompting it to approach the election commission.

Taking umbrage at Chouhan's tweet, the state Congress unit has lodged a complaint with the poll watchdog demanding that it file a criminal case against the CM for "defaming" the name of the Opposition party, an office-bearer told PTI.

"'Mere pyare doston, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karntaka sahit desh bhar me kai jagah chunav hone wale hain. Hamen corona kaal ko dekhte huey chunav aayog ke disha nirdeshon ka poora dhyan rakhna hai. 'Haath' poori tarah 'sanitise' kar 'saaf' kar dena hai'," Chouhan tweeted.

The tweet can be translated as: "My dear friends, elections are going to be held in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka along with other places in the country. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, we should adhere to the EC's guidelines. Santise the hand completely and clean it (wipe it out)".

Hand is the traditional election symbol of the Indian National Congress (INC).

The Congress took objection to the single inverted commas used by the BJP leader for the words 'haath', 'sanitize', and 'saaf' in the tweet.

"Chouhan has used these three words in violation of the guidelines of the EC. He has also used the poll body's name in a misleading manner in his tweet," said state Congress spokesperson J P Dhanopia.

He said the complaint addressed to the chief election commissioner has been lodged with the state chief electoral officer.

Assembly bypolls are due in Madhya Pradesh on 28 seats.

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