'Modi's Kedarnath Yatra stunt a gross violation of MCC'

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress on Sunday lodged a complaint at the Election Commission of India against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the latter's widely televised Kedarnath Yatra for the last two days is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) on polling day. The party sought immediate action to "stop telecast of such a surreptitious and unfair campaign which is morally wrong."

"I would like to bring to your notice that even though the election campaign for the last phase of polling for 2019 Lok Sabha elections has ended on May 17, 2019 at 6 pm, surprisingly Narendra Modi's Kedarnath Yatra is being covered and widely televised for the last two days on national as well as local media. This is a gross violation of the Model Code Of Conduct," states the letter to the Chief Election Commissioner undersigned by Derek O'Brien, leader of the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party, Rajya Sabha.

It further states that Modi had even announced that the "Master Plan" for Kedarnath Temple was "ready" and also addressed the public and the media at Kedarnath. "It is absolutely unethical and morally incorrect," the letter read.

It alleges that every minute detail of Modi's activities during the visit have been widely publicised, with an ulterior motive to influence voters directly or indirectly. "Modi chants are also being heard from the background. All these moves are well calculated with the ill intention to influence the voters even on the date of poll," the letter read.

"It is very unfortunate that the Election Commission, the highest body and the eyes and ears of the democratic process, remains blind and deaf to the gross violation of the MCC," O'Brien alleged.

The letter from Trinamool assumes significance as during the elections, several Opposition parties have also alleged MCC violation on the part of the Prime Minister.

Even Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa on Saturday expressed dissent over clean chits for four speeches made by Modi and one by BJP president Amit Shah.

Lavasa has reportedly told Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora that his "participation in the deliberations of the Commission becomes meaningless" since his minority decisions "go unrecorded".

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