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Business News/ Politics / News/  Maharashtra Congress files EC complaint against BJP, Nitin Gadkari for ‘using school children’ in Lok Sabha campaign
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Maharashtra Congress files EC complaint against BJP, Nitin Gadkari for ‘using school children’ in Lok Sabha campaign

Congress files complaint with Chief Electoral Officer accusing BJP and Nitin Gadkari of using school children in personal campaign, violating Election Commission's directives.

Union Minister and BJP candidate Nitin Gadkari campaigns for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Nagpur on April 1 (PTI)Premium
Union Minister and BJP candidate Nitin Gadkari campaigns for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Nagpur on April 1 (PTI)

The Congress has filed a complaint against Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and the BJP for violating Model Code of Conduct. The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee contended that the the saffron party had flouted rules regarding the ‘involvement of children in election-related activities’. It sought "immediate and decisive action" against Gadkari and the BJP.

“Despite clear directives from the Election Commission regarding the prohibition of involving children in election-related activities, BJP and Nitin Gadkari have been using school children for the purpose of their personal campaign," the letter to the Chief Electoral Officer said.

The Congress missive indicated that pupils from the NSVM Fulvari school were "used by the BJP and its candidate" for a campaign rally on April 1. It also attached videos and photographs from the event to underscore its complaint.

Earlier in February the Election Commission had issued directions against the use of children in political campaigns. It reminded parties and candidates of the relevant laws dealing with child labour and asked them to ensure strict compliance. The poll body had also directed election officials and poll machinery to refrain from involving children in any capacity during election-related work or activities.

The Election Commission directive underscored its "zero tolerance" policy towards the use of children in any manner during the electoral process by parties and candidates. The list of curbs included holding a child in their arms, carrying a child in a vehicle or in rallies.

"This prohibition extends to the use of children to create the semblance of a political campaign in any manner including use through poem, songs, spoken words, display of insignia of political party or candidate...," EC said in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 03 Apr 2024, 04:14 PM IST
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