09, Oct 2023 | CJP Team
On October 6, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI), copying the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission, against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya. Vijayvargiya is an electoral candidate from Indore Assembly Constituency No. 1. On October 5, a video surfaced on ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) showing Vijayvargiya delivering a speech in Indore and offering a reward of Rs 51,000 to the polling booth chairman for no votes given to the opposition, Congress party.
In the complaint, CJP has provided the details of the speech made by Vijayvargiya outside Ward 5 of Indore-1. The video shows Vijayvargiya stating the following:
“Give all your blessings to the Bharatiya Janata Party so that Congress does not get a single vote from this ward. I have made an announcement that at whichever booth not even one vote is given to Congress, a reward of Rs 51,000 to the chairman of the polling booth. All of you should make the effort to ensure that no vote goes to Congress from this booth as Congress has not done any work here.”
The complaint highlights that the speech made by Vijayvargiya amounts to the offence of “corrupt practices” and stands in violation of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The complaint states “Through the carefully calculated words uttered by Vijayvargiya, there is a clear intention to entice and manipulate the votes of the general public by offering monetary gains to the chairman of the booth.”
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The complaint also provides antecedents and previous incidents of anti-minority and anti-women speeches made by Vijayvargiya. The same was done with the objective of emphasizing that Vijayvargiya is a repeat offender who spreads consistently indulges in making statements adverse to the values of a secular, socialist and democratic country.
In addition to demanding action against Vijayvargiya for his serious violations, CJP also demanded that the Hon’ble Commission also issues a notice to the state and national party in chief of the BJP as this conduct of one of its own elected representatives puts a responsibility on any party that participates in elections held under the mandate of the Indian Constitution to honour and follow its mandate as laid down in both the Preamble and Fundamental Rights (Chapter III). It was also prayed that the Commission directs Vijayvargiya to issue an unconditional public apology as well as a retraction for his utterances.
It is essential to note here that on the same day as this complaint was sent by CJP, the Supreme Court had hear a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) against pre-poll promises and freebies distributed by political parties to lure voters before elections. The PIL had termed the same to be “frittering away taxpayers’ money” and amounting to bribery and undue influence. The said plea had a sought for issuance of comprehensive guidelines from the SC to bar political parties from indulging in the same. Admitting the said PIL, the Supreme Court had also issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan governments. The afore-mentioned has also been highlighted in the complaint to the Election Commission.
The complete complaint can be read here: