- Poll body's capitulation before PM Modi obvious to all: Rahul Gandhi
- Election Commission used to be feared and respected, Rahul Gandhi said
- Many opposition leaders have accused the poll body of going easy on BJP
Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched a fresh attack on the Election Commission just as the Lok Sabha polls ended on Sunday, alleging that it had yielded to the ruling BJP despite having the constitutional responsibility of providing a level playing field to all political parties.
"From electoral bonds and EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, Modi's Army & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, "Modi's Army" & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 19, 2019
The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore.
Through the course of the elections, many opposition leaders - including Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president Chandrababu Naidu and Rahul Gandhi himself - accused the poll body of going easy on the BJP. It was also accused of giving clean chits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah despite "irrefutable evidence" of poll code violations.
Soon after Rahul Gandhi's tweet emerged, Congress leader P Chidambaram hit the social media platform to air his grievances against the poll body too. "Our charge had been that the Election Commission was sleeping on the job. Now, we can go further and say that it completely surrendered its independence and authority. Shame!" he tweeted.
Our charge had been that the EC was sleeping on the job. Now, we can go further and say that the EC completely surrendered its independence and authority. Shame!— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 19, 2019
Earlier on Sunday, Chandrababu Naidu had accused the election body of ignoring the "minority decision" while finding PM Modi and Amit Shah innocent of poll code violations. He was referring to the Election Commission's decision to not register the dissent expressed by one of its members, Ashok Lavasa, in issuing the clean chits. Amit Shah and the Prime Minister were accused of bringing up topics forbidden by the Election Commission - such as the recent air strikes in Balakot and references to the armed forces as "PM Modi's Army" - in their election campaigns.
Why does the EC have a soft corner for BJP? The Prime Minister of this country who has never had the courage to face the questions of national media is sheltering candidates like Pragya Singh Thakur who insulted the father of the nation. BJP has managed to shock us yet again.— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) May 17, 2019
Chandrababu Naidu also asked the Election Commission to stop the "continuous telecast" of PM Modi's visits to the Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines since yesterday. The poll body had allowed him to undertake the trips with a reminder that the Model Code of Conduct was still in place.
The Trinamool Congress had turned out to be one of the strongest critics of the Election Commission during the polls, repeatedly accusing it of toeing the BJP's line irrespective of the circumstances. Even last night, with just hours to go for the final phase, Mamata Banerjee had asked the poll body to ensure peaceful and impartial voting in the state without any "interference" from the BJP-led centre.