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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Cong complains to EC against use of religious platform to seek votes

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 08, 2014
First Published: 23:51 IST(8/4/2014) | Last Updated: 23:57 IST(8/4/2014)
The Congress party on Tuesday complained to the Election Commission against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for repeatedly using religion and religious platform to seek votes in violation of model code of conduct.
 
In a letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath, the Congress party has claimed that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravishankar have been conducting political activities without being registered as a political party.
 
"Ramdev's primary activities include conduct of yoga and manufacture and sale of ayurveda medicines. RSS claims to be a social and cultural organization whereas Sri Sri Ravi Shankar runs the Centres for 'art of living'," the letter said.
 
All of them are indulging in political activities without following the norms laid down by the election commission for conduct of fair and proper elections, KC Mittal, secretary legal cell, All India Congress Committee (AICC) said in the letter.
 
"At Ramlila Maidan, Acharya Govind Dev Giri who had come from Varanasi was on the dais and recited verses from the Bhagwat Geeta and also mentioned about the holy cow and Hindutva, in the presence of Modi and sought votes for him," Mittal said.
 
In another meeting, Ramdev was reported to have praised BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the letter stated.

Seeking a total ban on use of religion and religious platform to seek votes, Mittal has asked the Commission to monitor the activities and movements of such groups or persons during the ongoing Lok Sabha election.
 
"Any such activity conducted by their members, volunteers or supporters, groups or persons to arouse religious or community feeling to seek vote or campaign in the name of religion, caste or community, directly or indirectly, should be booked under the relevant laws," Mittal said in the complaint.
 
"In the case of Ramdev, Election Commission, Delhi appears to have already issued a notice for using Yoga camp platform for political activity, without the permission of the authorities. The final outcome of the same is not known," the letter added.

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