The Congress on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court decision that outlaws seeking votes in the name of religion and said the verdict reaffirms the fundamental values on which the nation was founded.
Asked about the judgment, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the question should have been best directed at the BJP.
“But, on a more serious note, it is an excellent decision, it is a decision which should be welcomed by everybody,” he said.
Tewari said the decision reaffirms the fundamental values on which this Nation was cast by the founders of the Indian Constitution.
These fundamental values are: to build an egalitarian society, to build a society which is above caste, creed, region, religion or faith; to have a clear separation between religion and State, he said.
He said these lines have blurred in the march of this country over the last 67-68 years.
“So, therefore, every right-thinking Indian must welcome it. Why should religion, caste, region or every other parochial instinct be invoked in order to garner votes in a democracy, it is the complete anti-thesis of those noble values on which this country was built and therefore, Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision is more than welcome,” he said.
In a majority 4:3 verdict, the Supreme Court held that any appeal for votes on the ground of “religion, race, caste, community or language” amounted to “corrupt practice” under the election law provision.
Referring to the term ‘his religion’ used in section 123(3) of the Representation of The Peoples (RP) Act, which deals with ‘corrupt practice’, Chief Justice TS Thakur and three others said it meant the religion and caste of all including voters, candidates and their agents etc.
In its ruling in a case related to the election of a Shiv Sena leader, the Supreme Court had in 1995 said Hindutva is a “way of life and not religion”.