Ahead of general elections 2019, a group of former civil servants wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, alleging the "independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency" of the Election Commission (EC) is being compromised.
In the letter dated April 8, 66 former civil servants asked the EC to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned."
India, the world's largest democracy, will conduct the first phase of polling on April 11, with the final ballot cast more than five weeks later on May 23.
The ex-bureaucrats, in the letter, wrote that they have no affiliations with any political party and wanted to express their distress regard the "misuse, abuse and blatant disregard" of the model of conduct by the ruling party.
"We are distressed to note the misuse, abuse and blatant disregard of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by the ruling party at the Centre, and the ECI’s pusillanimity in coming down with a heavy hand on these violations," the letter read.Several political parties, including the Janata Dal (Secular) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of violating the model code of conduct in the run-up to the general elections.
While the JDS accused the BJP of kicking off various developmental work in the district during the Udupi-Chikmagalur by polls, the AAP has filed a model code of conduct violation complaint against the ruling party for political advertisements ahead of the polls.
The ex-bureaucrats, in the letter, highlighted a host of issues — Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming biopic, channel NaMo TV dedicated to the PM, Modi's address to the nation on the anti-satellite test conducted recently, a 10-part web series on Modi's life, Modi ki Sena remark by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and several other speeches made by PM and other BJP leaders.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a Congress leader's petition seeking to stop the release of "PM Narendra Modi", a biopic on the Prime Minister, saying "too much of court time is wasted on these non-issues".
"This, in our opinion, represents a backdoor effort to garner free publicity for a political person (and his party)", the ex-bureaucrats wrote on the release of Modi biopic on April 11, the day of commencement of the polling process.
The copies of the letter have also been marked to the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners. The EC is still to respond to the letter.
First Published: IST