A Malayalam newspaper first published news that a machete had fallen from the bike of one of the men who was along with MB Rajesh's campaign.

Machete at campaign CPIMs MB Rajesh says he is being targeted EC wants DGP to probe
news 2019 Lok Sabha Monday, April 08, 2019 - 19:05

‘Machete falls from a bike during the Palakkad LDF candidate’s election rally’ - this news piece, published in Mathrubhumi newspaper on Saturday, has put the sitting Member of Parliament from Palakkad, MB Rajesh, at the centre of a controversy. The image of the news clip and the video of the incident has since been circulating widely on social media and messaging platforms.

According to the report, the incident took place at Pulappatta in Ottapalam, Palakkad, on Friday. As LDF candidate MB Rajesh was campaigning in the area, several two-wheelers joined the rally. During the campaign, a scooter was accidentally knocked down and in the impact, a machete fell on the road. Soon, a few bikers joined them, picked the machete and left the spot, as seen in the video.

ഇലക്ഷൻ പ്രചർണത്തിനെത്തിനാണ് വടിവാൾ cpm palakkad

Posted by Pratheesh Premaraj on Friday, 5 April 2019

Following this, the Youth Congress petitioned the Election Commission of India to take action against MB Rajesh and accused him of attempting to incite violence and to instil a sense of fear among the people.

Then, on Sunday, Rajesh filed a complaint with the Chief Election Officer Teeka Ram Meena, Palakkad District Collector and Returning Officer D Balamurali as well as the Palakkad Superintendent of Police, to take action against those who have been circulating these images.

And now, on Monday, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena asked the DGP and Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra to inquire into the incident and submit a report immediately.

Such actions will cause hindrance during a free and fair election, the CEO said. “It is clearly stated that a candidate should not carry or possess weapons during an election campaign. Such actions violate the Model Code of Conduct,” he said. 

‘Unparalleled character assassination’: MB Rajesh

Reacting to the allegations against him, MB Rajesh said that the image had been used to assassinate his character.

“For the last few days, I have been noticing that a few images and posts against me have been doing the rounds on Facebook and WhatsApp. These allegations against me are an attempt to tarnish my name and to create a controversy,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

MB Rajesh has filed a complaint to the Palakkad Returning Officer and the Chief Election Officer to take action, prescribed under the Model Code of Conduct, against the administrator of WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages that have been circulating these doctored content. “Such posts tantamount to character assassination,”, the LDF candidate said.

He has also sent a complaint to the Palakkad Superintendent of Police to take action as per the Information Technology Act, 2000.

In his complaint to the CEO, Rajesh has also sought action against Mathrubhumi for attempting to defame him by “publishing fake news with political intentions”.  According to Rajesh, Mathrubhumi has been targeting him since the 2014 General elections by constantly publishing news articles against him. “Even the rivals were not able to raise any allegation on my public work before and after I became an MP,” he added.

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