Criticising the Election Commission for adopting the ‘ostrich approach’ against TV news channels for broadcasting BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s live speeches on polling day, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday demanded stringent action against media houses for violating the Model Code of Conduct.
In a letter to the EC, the party said it was shocked to see the gross violation of the code of conduct by media houses and the ‘ostrich approach’ of the EC. “The whole of India is aware that Modi is a contestant in Varanasi and broadcasting his political speeches today (Monday) amounts to influencing the voters of Varanasi. We submit to the EC that model code of conduct is applicable on all citizens of India and media houses are no exception,” the party said.
The party further asked if by not initiating suo-moto action against these media houses, was the EC indicating its submissiveness?
“During an election, it is the EC’s bounded duty to conduct it in a free and fair manner. Why isn’t the EC issuing any direction to these news channels to stop the broadcast forthwith? Why is the EC silent on this violation?” the party questioned.
The AAP demanded the EC to take strong and exemplary action against the erring TV channels immediately and uphold its role of sentinel of the Constitution during polls. The party also expressed shock at the EC’s denial to conduct repolling at few booths in Gurgaon despite complains of rigging in some areas.
“It is one month since the day of polling and I am yet to receive a formal response to my representation. My colleague Prashant Bhushan was told in his meeting with the commission that you (EC) have received reports from below and are not in favour of re-polling,” said AAP candidate from Gurgaon Yogendra Yadav, in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath.
According to the party, a scientific analysis of the polling station wise turnout data, which established that there was a cluster of booths that recorded abnormally high turnout was submitted to the EC.
“I must confess that I am really shocked. I do not know whether you went by the report of the same officials, whose negligence or collusion was responsible for these irregularities, or the commission obtained an independent report in the matter,” Yadav added.