TN Congress moves Madras HC seeking action against PM Modi’s hate speeches

The petition filed by TNCC president K Selvaperunthagai accuses PM Modi of “trying to create havoc and hatred among citizens.”
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The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), on Wednesday, May 8, moved the Madras High Court seeking to direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) to issue notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an explanation on the hate speeches he made during the election campaign. The petition was filed by the president of TNCC K Selvaperunthagai, and accuses PM Modi of “trying to create havoc and hatred among citizens.”

The petitioner said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is “indulging in divisive campaign of Hindu Nationalism” and cited three speeches of Modi, where he made hate comments against Muslims. The first one was his speech at an election rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21, when PM Modi said that if the Congress party were voted to power, then they would distribute the country’s wealth among “infiltrators” and “those who have more children”. The PM was referring to the Muslim community here. 

The second speech cited in the petition was made on May 1 in Gujarat about how Congress would impose “inheritance tax” if it comes to power; and the third speech was made on May 2 in Gujarat where he said ““INDIA alliance has asked Muslims to go for Vote Jihad.”

The petitioner alleged that PM Modi’s speeches were “replete with fabrications and abusive language aimed at discrediting the Congress Party’s manifesto and its credibility without any iota of truth.” He also added that the derogatory remarks made by the PM about Muslims “are not only disrespectful but also shameful and treacherous as they fuel communal tensions and sow division among our people”.

Stating that such “wrecking behaviour” from the Prime Minister is deeply concerning and “sets a dangerous precedent for our democracy”, the petition also alleged that despite several complaints to the ECI demanding them to take action against PM Modi, only a notice was sent to the BJP party instead of the PM himself. “This leniency of the ECI sends a wrong signal to the citizens and undermines the integrity of our nation’s whole electoral process,” the petition said. He also alleged that the party’s representation made to ECI was also not acted upon.

The petitioner sought the court to direct the ECI to issue notice to PM Modi calling for his explanation on the hate speeches made by him and to take “immediate and decisive action” to restrain him from making further misleading and derogatory statements.

Watch: Modi Report Card: A decade marked by rise of hate speech

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