EC bars BJP candidate Abhijit Ganguly from campaigning for 24 hrs

Kolkata, May 21 (UNI) The Election Commission of India on Tuesday censured BJP’s Tamluk nominee and former high court judge Abhijit Ganguly, debarring him from campaigning for 24 hours from 5 pm Tuesday for his remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The poll panel order stated: “The Commission hereby strongly censures Abhijit Gangopadhyay for the above-said misconduct and debars him from campaigning for 24 hours starting from 1700 hours of May 21, 2024. The Commission also strictly warns him to remain careful in his utterances during the currency of Model Code of Conduct.”

The poll body asked him to be careful with his public utterances when the Model Code of Conduct is in place.

The Trinamul Congress lodged a complaint with the EC on May 16.

Ganguly during a rally in Haldia under Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency on May 15, said, “Mamata Banerjee how much are you being sold for? Why is your rate Rs 10 lakh? Is it because you get your make up done by Keya Seth? Is Mamata Banerjee even a woman? Sometimes I do wonder.”

On May 17, the EC served a show cause notice to Ganguly to which the latter submitted his reply on Monday to the Chief Electoral Officer’s office in the state which was forwarded to Delhi’s Nirvachan Sadan.

Subsequently, the EC averred that Ganguly had made a “low level personal attack and thus violated the Model Code of Conduct.”

The Commission said Ganguly’s statement was a “direct affront on the erosion of status of women in India and is “outrightly condemnable when used in respect of any woman, not to speak of a senior political leader and holder of a constitutional post whom he has targeted.”

The order observed, “The Commission is pained that such abominable words came from someone of his educational and professional background and hence does not remotely deserve any benefit of doubt.”

The order citing clause (2) of the “general conduct” of the Model Code of Conduct applicable to political parties and candidates said, “Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programmes, past record and work. Parties and candidates should refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortions shall be avoided.”

The manual of the Code of Conduct states in para 3.8.2 (ii), “Nobody should indulge in any activities or make any statements that would amount to attack on personal life of any person or statements that maybe malicious or offending decency and morality.”

In its advisory to political parties, issued on March 1 before the election schedule, the EC stated: “The political parties and candidates to refrain from any deeds/action/utterances that may be construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women.”

The Commission stated, “No aspect of the private life, not connected with the public activities of the of the leaders or the workers of other parties is to be criticized. Low level personal attacks to insult the rivals shall not be made.”

Leave a Reply