The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Election Commission’s order revoking the star campaigner status of senior Congress leader Kamal Nath for the Madhya Pradesh bye-elections, reported Bar and Bench.
“This matter is infructuous, tomorrow is voting, campaigning ended today,” senior lawyer Rakesh Dwivedi, representing the poll panel, said. To this, the petitioner’s counsel Kapil said that the complaint of October 30 was revived.
The bench, led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, said that it was staying the Election Commission’s order. “How can you decide who is the party leader?” he said. “They will decide or you will decide.”
Nath on Saturday approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Election Commission to revoke his star campaigner status.
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”.