EC asks Cong chief to clarify, rectify social media post on Karnataka’s sovereignty

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday asked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to clarify and rectify the party’s social media post on Karnataka’s sovereignty remark attributed to Sonia Gandhi.

The EC letter to Kharge came following a complaint by the Bharatiya Janata Party regarding a tweet which appeared on the official Twitter handle of the Indian National Congress on May 6.

In its complaint, the BJP has alleged, “Karnataka is a very important member state in the union of India and any call to protect the sovereignty of a member state of the Union of India amounts to a call for secession and is fraught with perilous & pernicious consequences.” The BJP also alleged in its complaint to the EC that the tweet is violative of the mandatory oath undertaken by the political parties under section 29A (5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 at the time of registration.

The Congress drew flak for its tweet from BJP who asked the poll body to derecognise the grand old party, adding that she is heading the ‘tukde-tukde’ gang

The 224-member Karnataka assembly will undergo polls on May 10 and the votes will be counted on May 13.

ECI Issues Notice To BJP On Congress’ Complaint: The poll body has also issued a notice to Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party president Nalin Kumar Kateel based on a complaint it received from Congress that the incumbent saffron party in the state published an advertisement on May 8, making some specific claims about the Congress party.

“While general claims and accusations are part of election campaigns, specific allegations & claims about the opponents need to be supported by verifiable and traceable facts. Any claim made without basis and empirical evidence has potential of misleading the voters thereby robbing them of their right of making right and informed choices amongst the candidate thus disturbing level playing field,” the EC said in its notice.