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EC censures BJP pick and ex-HC Judge for ‘low-level attack’ against Mamata

The Election Commission of India has censured and debarred former judge of Calcutta High Court and BJP candidate from Tamluk, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, from campaigning for 24 hours finding his comments on Mamata Banerjee to be “low-level personal attack”. It also directed BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda to issue an advisory to party candidates and […]

The Election Commission of India has censured and debarred former judge of Calcutta High Court and BJP candidate from Tamluk, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, from campaigning for 24 hours finding his comments on Mamata Banerjee to be “low-level personal attack”. It also directed BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda to issue an advisory to party candidates and campaigners against indulging in such conduct.
In a strongly worded order, the Election Commission said: “The Commission strictly warns Abhijit Gangopadhyay to remain careful in his public utterances during the currency of Model Code of Conduct.”
The poll panel said that the action was taken on the complaint filed by the Trinamool Congress in respect of Gangopadhyay’s comments. Gangopadhyay is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Tamluk constituency in Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal as a BJP candidate.
Voting will be held on May 25.

On May 15, while addressing an election rally in Haldia’s Chaitanyapur area, the former High Court Justice had alleged that Mamata Banerjee had sold herself and her “rate” was Rs 10 lakh. He had even asked if she was a woman. “Mamata Banerjee, how much are you being sold for? Your rate is Rs10 lakh, why? Because you’re getting your make-up done by Keya Seth? Mamata Banerjee, is she even a woman? I keep wondering sometimes,” he had said.
Following the Trinamool complaint, a show-cause was issued to Gangopadhyay for his “improper, injudicious and undignified” remarks. After going through Gangapodhyay’s reply to the show-cause notice, the ECI ruled that he had made a “low-level personal attack and thus violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.”
“By Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s words, he has brought damage and disrepute to the State of West Bengal that has a distinguished tradition of respect for women,” the Election Commission stated in a strongly worded order.
Stating that it cannot allow any affront to the status of women, the Election Commission said that his comments “are outrightly condemnable when used in respect of any women, not to speak of a senior political leader and a holder of a constitutional position.”
The Commission “painfully noted that such abominable words came from someone of Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s educational and professional background.” “Therefore,” the poll body stated: “no benefit of doubt can be given to him.”
In its reaction to the Election Commission’s order, the Trinamool Congress said that the former judge’s comments reflected the “misogynist mindset of the BJP.” The Trinamool Congress had sought a complete ban on Gangopadhyay from holding or attending any public rally or meeting and permission to initiate criminal proceedings against him.
The Election Commission also marked a copy of the order the BJP national president J.P. Nadda and directed him to issue an advisory to all party candidates to prevent lapses during the poll campaign
It said: “Abhijit Gangopadhyay has committed the same type of violation to a worse degree. This is deemed as a grave failure to enforce one of the most basic conducts in an election campaign, even after clear directions from the Commission,” the poll body stated in its order.

 

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