Distribution of NYAY pamphlets seeking voter’s personal details violates the Model Code of Conduct; BJP to Congress

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After promising the Nyuntam Aaya Yojna (minimum income scheme) if the party comes to power in the Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s rally at Simdega in Jharkhand, pamphlets from the state Congress unit were distributed among the voters. The pamphlets promoted the minimum income scheme (NYAY) and sought personal details of the people present in the rally.

Later on, a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit approached the Jharkhand’s chief electoral officer (CEO) and alleged that promotion of the scheme with the help of distributing the pamphlets has violated the Model Code of conduct.

The pamphlets with the publisher’s name Khunti District Congress Committee promoted the Congress president’s vision after the victory in Lok Sabha elections and sought personal details of the voters such as their name, address, mobile number, along with their polling booth and polling number.

The state BJP unit has approached the Chief Electoral Officer that the state unit Congress was trying to influence the people during the ongoing elections. It also claimed that distributing such pamphlets and asking the people to fill in their personal details without the approval of Election Commission is a clear cut violation of the Model Code of Conduct and also the violation of the Representation of People Act.

BJP spokesperson, Pratul Shahdeo said that this is an “open and shut” case because the scheme is yet to be launched if the party comes to power. He added, “The pamphlet sought personal details of the voters, which is not permissible.”

Defending the distribution of Congress pamphlets, Congress spokesperson Rajesh Thakur said that Congress has been conducting a survey from before the announcement of the elections. He claimed that “We have been doing this before the elections and Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to prospective beneficiaries and the pamphlets are being distributed in various constituencies.” He also added that if the BJP thinks that this is a poll code violation then an explanation will be needed of the Prime Minister’s promise of 15 lakhs rupees in each account before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

While addressing the rally at Simveda in Jharkhand, Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that the political leaders are not the “Maalik.” He said that they are the lords of democracy. He described the mahagathbandhan in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections as the voice of the people.

Jharkhand has the contest between the two leaders, Kalicharan Munda from the Mahagathbandhan and BJP leader and former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda.

Jharkhand witnesses polling on its three Lok Sabha seats in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The remaining three phases will go to polls on May 6, May 12, and May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.

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