‘Karnataka’s sovereignty’ row: After BJP seeks action against Congress & Sonia, EC asks Kharge to clarify, rectify
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has been issued a notice by the Election Commission (EC) asking to provide clarification and take rectification measures over former party chief Sonia Gandhi’s “Karnataka sovereignty” remark.
In the notice to the Congress chief, the EC said: “I am directed to refer to a complaint dated May 8, 2023, submitted by the leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party, namely, Bhupender Yadav, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Tarun Chugh, Anil Baluni and Om Pathak to the Commission regarding a tweet which appeared on the official Twitter handle of the Congress on May 6, 2023, at 09:46 PM.”
“CPP Chairperson Sonia Gandhi Ji sends a strong message to 6.5 crore Kannadigas: The Congress will not allow anyone to pose a threat to Karnataka’s reputation, sovereignty or integrity,” the poll panel cited the tweet as saying.
It said that in the complaint made by the BJP, it is alleged, inter-alia (as quoted): “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 and pernicious consequences.
“In view of the above, you are requested to clarify and take rectification measures in respect of the social media post which has been put up on the INC Twitter handle and attributed to Chairperson CPP,” the EC said.
The EC cited that according to the complaint made by the BJP, 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.
Earlier in the day, a delegation of BJP had moved the poll panel against remarks by Sonia Gandhi on the ‘sovereignty of Karnataka’, which has triggered a massive political storm in the run-up to the May 10 Assembly election.
The complaint filed with the EC by the BJP reads, “Definition of sovereignty is an independent nation. India is a sovereign country and Karnataka is a proud part of it.
Describing this statement as “shocking and unacceptable”, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje, who filed the complaint, said Sonia Gandhi has violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and requested the EC to take stringent action against her for making “such a statement”.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders targeted the grand old party over the remark. On Saturday, Sonia Gandhi addressed a rally in the Hubbali district of poll-bound Karnataka. Polling for the Karnataka Assembly is scheduled on May 10 and counting votes will occur on May 13.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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