The Election Commission of India (EC) has told senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath not to use words such as “item” to address a woman during campaigning for the bye-elections while the Model Code of Conduct is in effect. “ … the Commission, hereby advises Kamal Nath, 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,” the order said.
Addressing an election meeting on Sunday for the November 3 bypoll in Gwalior’s Dabra town, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Imarti Devi, Nath had said the Congress candidate (Suresh Raje) was a “simple person” unlike his opponent who was an “item”.
The EC told Nath that the use of the word “item” to address a woman “constitutes a violation” of the advisory issued by the poll body relating to the model code of conduct. Nath’s remark had triggered outrage, with BJP leaders, led by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, staging protests against the Congress leader.
Meanwhile, the EC also issued a notice to BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya to explain his “chunnu-munnu” remark (a term used to refer to children) for Congress leaders Nath and Digvijaya Singh during an election rally in Indore’s Sanwer, where he also called them “gaddar” (traitors).
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