EC hesitant to act against PM, says Chidambaram

P. Chidambaram (File Photo)

The Election Commission of India (EC) has been soft on monitoring the electoral expenditure limits of campaign rallies addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram asserted on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai before the fourth phase of polling for the Lok Sabha, he contended that the EC had failed to fulfil its duties of being bipartisan and was reluctant to take action against Mr. Modi for his speeches and expenditure-related violations.

Claiming that the spending on several rallies of the Prime Minister had likely crossed the ₹10 crore mark, in violation of the regulations, Mr. Chidambaram said the EC was “simply reluctant and unwilling to take action against the BJP.”

Maharashtra Congress leader Ashok Chavan alleged that the BJP’s Suresh Prabhu, had likely been carrying cash in the guise of a box of mangoes, but no action had been taken. “Mr. Prabhu was carrying election inducements instead of mangoes,” said Mr. Chavan, who also addressed the media.

A day after Mr. Modi claimed that the Congress would be decimated to below 50 seats, Mr. Chidambaram said feedback after the first three phases of voting in 303 constituencies indicated that the party had gained significantly. The voters had rejected the ‘false narrative’ of the BJP, he averred. “He [Mr. Modi] dreams even when he is sleeping, and even when he is awake. We cannot stop him from doing so,’’ he said, adding that as a single party the Congress was level with the BJP.

(Source: The Hindu)

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