The Congress has asked the Election Commission to take action against parties and their leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for alleged “misuse” of children in their political campaigns.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted that the Election Commission has assured of action after a party delegation met the commission today.
“We also hope against hope that the NCPCR finds its spine somehow and issues a notice to the PM,” Mr Ramesh tweeted, referring to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
A Congress delegation met with the Election Commission this evening to highlight the PM’s misuse of children for campaign purposes. ECI has assured us that action shall be taken.
We also hope against hope that the NCPCR finds its spine somehow and issues a notice to the PM.
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh)
The NCPCR had also filed a complaint against the Congress for allegedly using children in their Bharat Jodo Yatra led by party leader Rahul Gandhi, a matter that the Congress dismissed as “frivolous” and “baseless”.
“We are very deeply concerned about children being exploited and being used for election campaigns in Gujarat. We have produced videos that a lot of people have seen; it has been widely made viral,” Congress leader Salman Khurshid said in a statement.
“We have produced those videos before the Election Commission and we have given a written complaint that the Election Commission itself has very clearly observed several times, that children must not be used in campaigns, they must not be exploited in campaigns and yet, this is happening. Now, how can it be that the Election Commission takes the clear view and yet it is ignored in the election campaign, we have brought this to their attention. They promised us that they will examine it very closely, scrutinise it and they will take appropriate actions,” Mr Khurshid said.
A few days after the Bharat Jodo Yatra began on September 7, the NCPCR had asked the Election Commission to take action against the Congress and Mr Gandhi for allegedly “misusing children as political tools” in the party’s cross-country march.
Mr Ramesh alleged that since the NCPCR’s inception in 2007, the child rights body is being run by a “BJP-RSS functionary” for the first time. Priyank Kanoongo is the NCPCR chairperson.
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