Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling his visit to Kedarnath a planned "drama" and accusing the Election Commission of India (ECI) "capitulating before him" and not taking any action against wide-scale media coverage of his visit, even as the last phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha election was underway.
"From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, "Modi's Army" and now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Mr Modi and his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore," Rahul wrote on his Twitter handle.
Not only Rahul, even Trinamool Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have also accused the ECI of being 'soft' on Prime Minister Modi and called media coverage of his Kedarnath visit a gross violation of poll conduct.
"The election campaign for the last phase of polling for Lok Sabha polls is over, surprisingly Narendra Modi's Kedarnath Yatra is being widely covered by the media for the last two days. This is a gross violation of the MCC," TMC said in a letter to the EC.
"Now we can say that the 'pilgrimage' of the PM in the last two days is an unacceptable use of religion and religious symbols to influence the voting," Chidambaram tweeted.
Congress leader stated that the watchdog has completely surrendered its independence and authority. "Our charge had been that the EC was sleeping on the job. Now, we can go further and say that the EC completely surrendered its independence and authority. Shame!" he said.
Polling for the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections was held on Sunday in 59 seats spread across seven states and one Union Territory in the country. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
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