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New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party expresses its serious concern over the ineffective role of the Election Commission of India in ensuring the conduct of free and fair polls during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

It is shocking that the EC appears to have been cowed down before the provocative statements being given by the BJP duo of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. It is unexplainable how the EC revoked the ban on Amit Shah and allowed him to continue his campaign in Uttar Pradesh, after accepting his apology despite knowing his track record.

The latest statement by Shah, branding Azamgarh as a terror hub, is a clear indication that he does not care about any constitutional authority in the country and it is for the EC to tell the country on what basis it has allowed such a controversial person to continue with his campaign in UP. How can a person who is on bail and is facing serious charges of having masterminded fake encounters by misusing his official position in Gujarat and was ordered by courts to stay away from his home state, be trusted by the EC for honouring his commitment of not indulging in hate speeches again ?

The AAP demands that the EC should immediately order Shah to leave Uttar Pradesh and should not be allowed to enter the state till the voting is over. Any delay on the EC’s part would raise fresh questions over its impartiality. The EC’s ineffectiveness in dealing with continued hate speeches of Shah and open defiance of election laws by Modi can have serious repercussions in the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.

The EC has also failed to take any action against the TV news channels, which for monetary gains and in a bid to please the BJP are continuing the telecast of opinion polls. Such polls are a clear violation of the provisions of the Representation of the People’s Act.

If the EC cannot take any action for the violation of the RP Act, then is its role merely confined to issue advisories ? The EC has been largely silent on complaints filed against Narendra Modi and the BJP. This party released its manifesto on April 7, when the polling in North-Eastern parts of the country had already begun.

Despite the EC having clearly stated that the manifesto release cannot be telecast in areas where polling was taking place, the channels paid scant disregard to the EC, but it chose to remain silent on this violation too.

Modi has openly dared the EC to take action against him for speaking against the FIR ordered against him for flashing the BJP symbol and addressing a press conference in the prohibited area during voting on April 30.

The EC has chosen to look the other way as it has done on complaints of bribing voters against Modi and concealment of his huge expenses during the ongoing campaign, which is being funded by top corporate houses. The AAP appeals to the EC to act in a manner that its longstanding effectiveness and impartiality does not come under doubt in the eyes of the people.

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