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NIRVACHAN SADAN

Election Commiss ion of lndia

110 ool ASHOKA ROAD, NEW DELHI - 1'IO OO1
Dated: 21't November, 2013

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Whereas, the schedule

for holding the General Election to

Chhattisgarh

Legislative Assembly was announced by the Election Commission vide its Press Note dated ECllPNt43l2A13 dated 4tn October, 2013; and

2. 3.

Whereas, the Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates came

into operation from the aforesaid date; and

Whereas, sub para (2) of Para I of the Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates, rnter-alia, provides that "Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. parties and Candidates shall 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 distortion shall be
avoided." ; and

4.

Whereas, the Commission received

a complaint dated 9th November,

2013

from All lndia Congress Committee, alleging that you had violated the above provision

of the Model Code of Conduct in your speech at the election meeting held on
November, 2013 at Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon; and

7th

S.

Whereas, the Commission obtained a copy of Video CD of the said election it meeting held on 7th November,2O13 at Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon' and from the CD'
meeting is observed that you made, inter atia, the foltowing statement in your aforesaid

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6.

whereas, it was, prima facie, observed that by making the aforesaid statement,

and you had viotated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, referred to above;

I

whereas, you were calted upon to explain by 5 pm of 16th November,2013, as to why action should not be taken against you for aforesaid violation of Model Code of
Conduct, and

7.

whereas, on your request dated 15th November,2013, received through shri R. Ramakrishna, MP, Bharatiya Janata Party, the time for submission of your reply was
extended up to 11.30 a.m. on 20th November,2013; and

8.

Whereas, you submitted your reply in the matter on lgth November, 2013; and Whereas, the Commission has duly considered your reply and the submissions and contentions made therein; and Whereas, you have denied the allegations made in the Commission's aforesaid notice contending that you have onty criticized the policies and programmes of lndian
National Congress and not made any personal attacks on the leaders of that party; that

'10. 11.

you have used the words "Khooni Panja" colloquially and were not referring to the symbol "Hand" of the lndian National Congress, and that you have a fundamental right
of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1Xa) of the Constitution to attack the policies and programmes of the rival party as also its past record and works; and

12.

Whereas, the Commission duly recognizes the fundamental right of freedom of

speech and expression underArticle 19(1) (a) of the Constitution guaranteed to citizens

of India, but it atso needs to be pointed out that such right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute and is to be exercised in such a manner that it does not
transcend, inter alia, the boundaries of decency and morality or disturb public order or cause defamation or give incitement to an offence as ordained in clause (2) of that

Article 19; and that the Model Code of Conduct aims and seeks to achieve that very
objective by its various provisions; and

13.

Whereas, the Commission has noted your consciousness of the Commission's

concern about the language of public discourse in cases of personal attacks on leaders

and your stand that 'we need to adhere to stricter standards', the Commission,
however, does not accept your stand that the same standards cannot be enforced for remarks against political parties, as the Commission considers that while criticizing the

policies, programmes and past records of political parties also, the expressions and utterances, even when used colloquially, have to be couched in such terms that the
same conform to dignity, decorum and public morality; and

14.

Whereas, the tone, tenor and content of your impugned speech and the use of

expressions 'Khooni Panja'and'Zalim Haath'when read in the context of your whole

speech, pariicutarly the portions of your speech preceding and following the use of these expressions, leave no scope for doubt that the same refer to the complainant party and its reserved symbol and are violative of the abovementioned avowed object
underlying the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct; and further that the reference

to political adversaries with expressions such as'Khaoni Pania' and'Zatim Haath' can
not but be construed as injurious to the cause of decorous political discourse; and

Whereas, having regard to the above, the Commission is notsatisfied with the explanation furnished by you in reply to the Commission's above referred notice; and

15.

16.

Whereas, the Commission has noted the assurance given by you in the said

concluding paragraph that
responsible political leader,

'l wish to assure the Election Commission that as a
I stand committed to all regulations/directions and
Model

Code of Conduct framed by the Election Commission';

17.

Now, therefore, having regard to the totality of facts and circumstances of the

case and submissions and contentions made by you in your reply under reference, the
Commission expresses its disapprobation in the matter, and expects that you will stand by your above referred commitment and to be more careful in your public discourse in future.

(R.
PRINCIP

VASTAVA)

Shri Narendra Modi,
Chief Minister,
Gujarat.

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