Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath on Saturday approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Election Commission to revoke his star campaigner status ahead of the state bye-polls, PTI reported.
Senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha said Nath has challenged the poll panel’s decision on various grounds and would seek an urgent hearing on the plea.
Earlier in the day, Nath raised questions on the poll panel’s decision. “Star campaigner is neither a post nor a status,” Nath said. “I don’t want to comment on EC’s decision, will comment only after 10th November. In the end, public matters the most and they know everything.”
The Election Commission or the law does not define who star campaigners are but they are, in almost all cases, prominent and popular faces of a party who are nominated to campaign in a set of constituencies. Star campaigners are permitted to campaign without their expenses being added to that of the candidates, which are capped.
The poll panel had on Friday removed Nath’s status, citing multiple poll code violations by the former chief minister. The commission had cited Nath’s use of a derogatory term for BJP leader Imarti Devi, who is also a candidate in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh bye-polls. The poll panel had issued a notice to Nath on October 21 for calling Devi an “item”.
On Saturday, Nath defended his choice of words used against Devi. “I was in Lok Sabha for so many years,” he said. “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. Yet, I had said that if someone feels insulted, then I express regret.”
Bye-elections in the state will be held on November 3. The results will be declared on November 10.