Kamal Nath approaches Supreme Court against Election Commission decision to revoke his star campaigner status
The poll body has taken note of the Congress leader’s speech on October 13 in which he said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan treated the “mafia” and “milawatkhor” (adulterators) like gods.Updated: Nov 01, 2020, 05:51 IST
Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath approached the Supreme Court on Saturday challenging an order of the Election Commission to revoke his “star campaigner” status for violations of the model code of conduct ahead of bypolls to 28 assembly constituencies in the state.
“For repeated violation of the model code of conduct and for completely disregarding the advisory issued to him, the Commission revokes the status of leader of political party (star campaigner) of Kamal Nath,” EC said in its order on Friday.
The commission has found Nath guilty of violating para 2 of Part 1 of General Conditions of Model Code of Conduct for Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates which states, “Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of the parties.”
The poll body has taken note of the Congress leader’s speech on October 13 in which he said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan treated the “mafia” and “milawatkhor” (adulterators) like gods.
On October 26, the commission warned Nath against using derogatory terms, shortly after he referred to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Imarti Devi as an “item” during a rally.
According to Nath, no notice was issued to him on his October 13 speech. This was clearly a violation of principles of natural justice, his petition stated. On his “item” comment, Nath said he submitted his reply to EC that his remark was completely misunderstood.
Based on his response, EC issued an advisory on October 26 asking him to refrain from such comments in future.
In his petition to set aside the EC order, Nath said, “It is clear that the order has been passed in complete violation of natural justice, without any application of mind, and is arbitrary and unreasoned.”
Nath’s lawyer Varun Chopra said, “Between the date when EC issued advisory (October 26) and the order revoking star campaigner status (October 30) there is no fresh violation of MCC by Kamal Nath. Freedom of speech of a campaigner is a fundamental right which the Election Commission has abrogated at the fag end of the election campaign. We want the Court to lay down the principle whether the Commission was right to do so.”