A day after the Election Commission of India (ECI) revoked his “star campaigner” status for the upcoming bypolls in Madhya Pradesh, former chief minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath on Saturday moved the Supreme Court challenging the order.
Senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha said that senior Congress leader has challenged the ECI’s decision on various grounds and an urgent hearing on the plea would be sought, news agency PTI reported.
On Friday, citing repeated violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC), the commission in an order issued said, “…for repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct and for completely disregarding the advisory issued to him, the Commission hereby revokes the status of leader of political party (Star Campaigner) of Kamal Nath, Ex-Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh, with immediate effect for the current Bye-elections of Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.”
The EC said it has taken action against the Congress leader over his remark calling CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan “mafia” and “milawat khor” on October 13. The Commission had earlier warned him on October 26 for calling BJP candidate Imarti Devi an “item” while campaigning for a Congress candidate.
Bypolls to 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats will be held on November 3.
Speaking about the ECI action, Nath told PTI: “Which post or position this star campaigner has? The EC had not given me any notice, nor had it asked me about it. Why they are doing this in the last two days of campaigning only they know.”
However, the Congress leader defended his use of the word “item”. “I was in Lok Sabha for so many years. There it is mentioned in the agenda sheet, item number 1, item number 2… That was on my mind. I did not say it to disrespect anyone,” Nath was quoted as saying by PTI. “Yet, I had said that if someone feels insulted, then I express regret,” he added.
Nath’s 15-month old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh had collapsed in March this year after senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia rebelled against him along with 22 MLAs, thus paving the way to the BJP’s return to the helm.