New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has held Kamal Nath, ex-Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, guilty of repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct, complete disregard of the advisory issued to him and revoked his status as leader of political party (Star Campaigner) with immediate effect for the current Bye-elections of Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.
The Commission received complaints from the Madhya Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party and also from the Chairperson National Commission for Women that Kamal Nath, who is Leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, had used the word “Item” for a woman candidate.
The Commission had issued a Notice giving opportunity to Kemal Nath, to explain his stand in making the “Item” statement. He submitted a reply in the matter but it was not found to be satisfactory and hence the Commission issued an Advisory to him for violation of the provisions contained in Pam (2) of Part 1 of ‘General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates’ and disregard of the advisory issued by the Commission during the ongoing Bye-elections to the Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh. The Commission has taken the considered view that Kamal Nath used the work “Item” for a lady and that this constitutes violation of advisory issued by the Commission. Therefore the Commission had advised the ex-Chief Minister Madhya Pradesh that while making public utterances he should not use any such word or statement during the period of Model Code of Conduct”.
Subsequently, one more complaint was brought to the notice of the Commission from Bharatiya Janata Party that Kamal Nath had on 13 October2020 that “शिवराज नौटंकी के कलाकार, मुंबई जाकर एक्टिंग करें “. In this connection, the Commission sought a report from Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh, who sent a report along with transcript of the speech of Kamal Nath in which he stated: “आपके भगवन तो वो माफिया हैं जिससे आपने मध्यप्रदेश की पहचान बनाई आपके भगवन तो मिलावट खोर हैं .
The report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh also confirms the violation of Model Code of Conduct.
A list of leaders of political party (Star Campaigners) was received from Indian National Congress. The name of Kamal Nath was placed at serial No. 3, under section 77(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 for the Bye-election of Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.
The Commission has “carefully considered” the matter and has observed with displeasure that Kamal Nath despite being a leader of a political party was repeatedly violating the provisions of Model Code of Conduct and breaching the ethical and dignified behaviour.
Hence, for repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct and for completely disregarding the advisory issued to him, the Commission has revoked his status of leader of political party (Star Campaigner).
The EC order of Friday 30 October says: “if any campaign is done by Kamal Nath from now onwards, the entire expenditure related to travel, stay, visit, etc.. shall be completely borne by the candidate in whose constituency the campaign is done by Kamal Nath.