Bihar polls: After name calling, EC calls for restraint

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2015 00:44 IST
A combination picture of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Election Commission has expressed ‘deep anguish’ at the plummeting levels of speeches in Bihar polls aimed at creating disharmony amid slugfest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

In an instruction issued to all political parties, the poll watchdog told the parties that freedom of speech enshrined guaranteed under the Constitution was not ‘absolute’ and was required to be exercised in a manner that does not transcend the boundaries of decency and mortality or disturbs public order.

It also urged the parties to maintain absolute restrain and decency in their election campaign speeches and set an example of high standards in public speech.

Modi had taken a jibe at Prasad on Thursday during an election rally saying he had insulted the people of Bihar and particularly his community ‘Yadavanshis’ who had brought him to power. Prasad retorted by allegedly referring to Modi as ‘shaitan’ (a devil). Both BJP and RJD had lodged complaints with the Election Commission on use of derogatory language in Bihar polls.

After Modi’s speech at Munger, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had accused him of communalising the atmosphere.

Earlier this week, a FIR was filed against All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi by Kishanganj district administration for allegedly making inflammatory speech at an election rally.

Amid all this, the EC has issued the advisory seeking restrain from leaders of all political parties and candidates in fray.

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