President Ram Nath Kovind has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into an Election Commission letter taking objection to Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh’s remark seeking support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s re-election bid, NDTV reported. Kovind passed on the letter to the home ministry for “necessary action”, NDTV said.
On March 25, while addressing Bharatiya Janata Party workers in his hometown Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, Singh reportedly said, “We all want Modi as prime minister. It is important for the society that Modi becomes prime minister.” He also allegedly described himself as a worker of the BJP. A video recording of his statement also surfaced on the internet. Singh, a long-time BJP member, was appointed governor of Rajasthan in September 2014. Since that is a constitutional post, he is supposed to be non-partisan and cannot campaign for any political candidate.
The Election Commission reportedly considered his remark to be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, which is in place ahead of the Lok Sabha polls that will be held from April 11 to May 19. The model code is a set of guidelines for parties aimed at ensuring free and fair elections. However, the poll body does not have the authority to take action against Singh as his is a constitutional post and had hence written to the president.
The Election Commission had sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh on Singh’s remarks, based on which it reportedly concluded that the Rajasthan governor’s remarks violated the Model Code of Conduct. It then put forth its findings to the president.
According to reports, the last time a governor was found violating the poll code was in 1993, when Gulsher Ahmed stepped down as Himachal Pradesh governor after the Election Commission took objection to his campaigning for his son, a Congress candidate, in Madhya Pradesh.