The complaint was signed by 4 senior leaders – Ananth Kumar, Prakash Javadekar, Muralidhar Rao and Shobha Karandlaje.

Ktaka BJP miffed with EC complains of red tape while getting permission for campaign
Karnataka Elections Karnataka 2018 Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 18:53

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday issued a memorandum to the Election Commission, accusing the Karnataka poll body of misusing electoral laws to disrupt the party’s campaigning in the state.

From “rigid electoral laws” to alleging that the state police “were puppets of the Congress bent on registering false complaints against BJP workers”, the memorandum touched on several issues the party perceives as a hindrance to its campaign.

Signed by four senior leaders – Ananth Kumar, Prakash Javadekar, Muralidhar Rao and Shobha Karandlaje – it denounced the “rigid, too technical and arbitrary interpretation of electoral laws” by the state election commission.

The signatories claimed that the BJP has completely abided by the Model Code of Conduct and demanded that some decisions by EC officials be corrected. They mention 16 instances of alleged misconduct on the part of officials to make their case.

These largely include the imposition of heavy restrictions on the basis of reportedly false or very minor technicalities.

The BJP leaders claimed that “unknown laws” make party workers “roam from pillar to post” to secure permission to carry out programmes.

“The Election Commission officials are harassing workers of the BJP who seek permission, based on some technical issues. There is no real or germane reason why they must create difficulties in granting permission,” the memorandum states.

It adds that the electoral officials have denied party workers permission to hold bike rallies, insisting that no law prevents them from doing so.

“Officials say that permission can be given only for 10 vehicles. No law or notification states that permission cannot be granted for more than 10 vehicles,” it adds.

They also allege that workers have been asked to secure permission to hold indoor meetings during or after campaigning, when the law does not require them to do so. Furthermore, they claim that party workers are prevented from eating during these meetings.

“No law says that karyakarthas (cadre) should not be allowed to have food while campaigning. It is practically impossible to campaign this way. This being so, the Congress workers are allowed to have gala dinners with biryani openly,” the memorandum reads.

They also condemned the arrest of right-wing activists by police officials. “The police department is acting like a puppet of the Congress party, arresting several right wing activists. No action has been taken against biased officials. The police in all of Karnataka are bent on registering false cases against BJP and its sympathizers,” it states.

One of their allegations also concerns Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mushti Dhanya Abhiyaan, a drive to express solidarity with aggrieved farmers in the state. It is meant to culminate at chief ministerial hopeful BS Yeddyurappa’s residence, where the party plans to eat with a few distressed farmers. The leaders accuse the EC officials of restricting the farmers with the campaign.

The Election Commission and the ruling government are yet to respond to the complaints made by the BJP.





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