Arvind Kejriwal, the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Delhi Chief Minister, has been served a showcause notice by the Election Commission (EC) in response to two social media posts by the party that alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's collaboration with businessman Gautam Adani.
The EC, acting on a complaint filed by the BJP on November 10, expressed the view that the tweets from the AAP's handle violated the Model Code of Conduct along with relevant election and penal laws.
The EC has requested Kejriwal to "explain the statements/allegations/averments, made in the alleged social media posts" by 7 pm on Thursday. In the contested posts, the AAP asserted that the Prime Minister and his government were working not for the public but for Adani.
The EC's notice highlighted, "...the first upload and tweet further comprise imagery including animation, caricature and drawings and modified content superimposing the Prime Minister with the business person Shri Adani creating a narrative that the Prime Minister is supplicating before Shri Adani or beseeching him for favours or reporting to him."
The notice emphasized that the AAP, being a national party, and its national convenor and candidates in the ongoing state elections, “ought to have verified the facts and have proof in its possession to justify the ex facie derogatory, insulting and disparaging animation, caricature, scam, nexus with a business person for a slanderous narrative against the star campaigner of another National Party, who is a democratically elected Prime Minister of the Nation (sic).”
The EC pointed out that the posts had prima facie violated the Model Code of Conduct provision against "criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders...Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion..."
In a related development, the EC also issued a notice to Congress general secretary Priyanka Vadra for a statement she made on PM Modi during an election rally in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
In her statement, she accused the PM of giving BHEL to his "bade udyogpati mitron [big industrialist friends]."
Citing the Model Code of Conduct provision against making unverified allegations, the EC asked her to explain her statement by 8 pm on Thursday. This marks the second EC notice to Priyanka amid the ongoing Assembly elections.
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