The Election Commission on Monday asked the Karnataka BJP to provide “verifiable and traceable” facts by Tuesday evening regarding its newspaper advertisement describing the Congress as “the most corrupt party in the world”.
Earlier, on a complaint by the BJP, the poll panel had issued a similar notice to the Congress over its “corruption rate card” advertisement.
The Election Commission (EC) served a notice to the Karnataka BJP over its advertisement after the Congress approached the poll panel.
In its notice, the commission said criticism of the policy and governance of opponent parties is a right guaranteed and enshrined in the Constitution as well as an essential function of various political actors under India’s electoral process.
“However, while exercising this right and performing this essential function, the various political parties are expected to uphold high standards of public discourse and adhere to the various provisions of the model code and relevant laws,” it said.
The commission has directed the state BJP to “convey the verifiable and traceable facts” regarding the claims made in the advertisement given by them along with an explanation, if any, by 8 pm on May 9 and also put that in “public domain”.
The EC said if no proof is provided, the BJP should come up with reasons on as to why action should not be initiated against it for violating the MCC (model code of conduct) and relevant legal provisions under the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The high octane campaigning for the May 10 Karnataka assembly poll ended this evening.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)