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Cong urges EC to stop Modi's meditation telecast, says it's poll code breach

May 30, 2024 02:23 IST

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trying to "circumvent" the silence period restrictions with his 48-hour meditation trip from May 30 in violation of the model code of conduct and urged the Election Commission to ensure that it is not aired by the media.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the ‘Ramayana Darshanam’ in Kanyakumari, March 1, 2019. Photograph: ANI Photo

A delegation of Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Abhishek Singhvi and Syed Naseer Hussain met the Election Commission and handed over a memorandum with complaints of alleged model code violations by the Bharatiya Janata Party.


The Congress claimed that the meditation programme by the prime minister in Kanyakumari's 'Dhyan Mandapam" was a clear violation of the silence period ahead of the June 1 voting in Modi's Varanasi constituency and other seats.

It was also in breach of the Model Code of Conduct and provisions under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the opposition party contended.

It said that on May 28, several news agencies reported on a trip that Narendra Modi would be taking to Kanyakumari, where he would undertake 48 hours of meditation at the Dhyan Mandapam, starting on May 30.

"The said trip would be widely televised and would therefore be shown during the 48-hour silence period in Varanasi, the constituency from which Shri Narendra Modi is contesting," the party memorandum to EC said.

"Through the meditation trip, Shri Narendra Modi is attempting to circumvent 48 hour silence period and unfairly leverage the ethnocultural significance of the chosen location in an attempt to bolster his campaign and maximise his vote share in violation of the Representation of the People Act, as well as Model Code of Conduct," the party also said.

It was also against the orders related to Dos and Don'ts during the election period that political parties and their candidates are required to adhere to

"The PM will start his meditation on the evening of May 30 and we have complained about that. We all know that the silence period will begin on May 30 and thus his declaration is a violation of the MCC.

"The PM can start his meditation after 24-48 hours, which is from the evening of June 1. Otherwise, if he wants to meditate from May 30, then the ECI should ensure that this is not broadcast by the TV or print media," Singhvi told reporters after the delegation met the CEC and other ECs.

"We hope that the ECI will take immediate steps to ensure that the live telecast of the meditation of the 'sarva-ghoshit Bhagwan' (self-styled god) at the Vivekananda Memorial does not take place since this is a brazen and clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

Modi will meditate at Rock Memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign on May 30, BJP leaders had said.

He will meditate from the evening of May 30 to the evening of June 1 at Dhyan Mandapam, the place where Vivekananda -- a spiritual icon admired by Modi -- is believed to have had a divine vision about 'Bharat Mata', BJP leaders said.

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