• Casteist remarks against PM Modi: BJP approaches poll panel against TMC leader Piyush Panda
    Indian Express | 4 April 2024
  • The BJP has approached the Election Commission against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Piyush Panda in connection with his allegedly derogatory remarks over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s caste ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. On Monday, the party submitted a letter to the EC seeking action against the TMC in this regard.

    In a video of the purported speech, Panda was heard saying, “Narendra Modi did blasphemy by inaugurating the incomplete Ram Mandir. This is said by the Shankaracharyas, not me. Modi is so arrogant. He is from the Teli community and he is inaugurating the temple while Brahmins are not being invited.”

    “He looks good. He has modelled his beard after Rabindranath Tagore. We sometimes get confused whether the man is a Bengali. He has disguised himself as a kabiguru. He utters so many lies, even thieves don’t lie so much. Which station did he sell tea? Has anyone been able to know the name of the station? If anyone comes and shows me or tells me which station the PM sold tea, I will quit politics. Arrogant Narendra Modi is the son of a Teli….,” the TMC leader added.

    The BJP has accused Panda of not only using abusive language against PM Modi, but also insulting the entire OBC community. Its letter to the EC said, “…Piyush Panda who is the TMC Contai organizational district President hurled abuses at the honorable Prime Minister Modi ji.

    In the most demeaning manner this Piyush Panda called Respected Shri Modi ji ‘son of a Teli’.”

    “Also, in doing so this person has caused harm to the reputation of the entire OBC community. In this video clip he not only used abusive words but also did a character assassination on Modi ji, by stating that there existed no railway station where Modi sold tea as a young boy,” it read.

    In the letter, the BJP further said that the statement is understood to have the approval of the TMC. “Using abusive language against the Prime Minister is a very serious violation of the MCC (Model Code of Conduct) for which the Commission should be taking very strong steps against this person, including debarring him from the entire electoral process. Also, TMC should be severely cautioned to ensure that such behaviour is not repeated,” added the letter, undersigned by BJP leader Shishir Bajoria.

    On Monday, the BJP filed three complaints against the TMC. In one of the complaints, it requested the Election Commission to ensure that all parties receive equal opportunity to display campaigning material and political advertisements at designated spots.

    “In West Bengal, only one political party, i.e. the party in power, has monopolised all such spaces to obstruct and hinder the smooth conduct of the electoral process. It is the Commission’s own responsibility to ensure fair and effective implementation of its own Model Code of Conduct. All parties and candidates should be provided equal opportunity in this regard,” the complaint said.

    The BJP also pointed out that the state government advertisements displayed atop government buildings “must be acted against in line with Commission’s laid down directives.”

    “We draw your attention to many such hoardings, with pictures of the Chief Minister, other Ministers, which were put up before the MCC came into effect, have still not been taken down whereas every single hoarding with the Hon’ble Prime Minister has been taken down. It is requested that the Commission take immediate cognisance of the aforesaid issues and ensure effective, fair and non-partisan conduct of the electoral process in West Bengal,” the read the letter.

    The BJP also filed a complaint against the TMC for making public the personal information of its Basirhat candidate Rekha Patra, and requested the poll panel to take action in this regard.

  • Link to this news (Indian Express)