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EC warns parties against use of Sabarimala issue in

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram/Kottayam 

The Election Commission Monday warned in not to use the temple matter as a campaign issue, drawing a sharp reaction from the BJP which termed the directive "illogical."

With the poll dates being announced, Chief Electoral Officer said "citing or invoking" religious propaganda on the "issue" would be a clear violation of the model code of conduct.

"Inviting religious feelings, using any kind of Supreme Court judgment, invoking or soliciting the votes in the name of religion or by inciting religious feelings is a clear violation of the model code of conduct," he told reporters at Thiruvanathapuram.

The also said the commission would not allow any kind of violation that puts a particular political party at an advantage over another.

Reacting to the directive, BJP state K said the stand taken by the on issue would be an election issue.

"It is 100 per cent that the stand taken by the (state) government on Sabarimala issue will be discussed in elections. No one can interfere in it... It is illogical to say that the Sabarimala issue should not be discussed in the election," told the media at Kottayam.

Addressing the media in Thiruvananthapuram, the CEC said "inviting religious feelings, using any kind of judgement, invoking or soliciting the votes in the name of religion or by inciting religious feelings is a clear violation of the model code of conduct."


The CEC also said the commission would not allow any kind of violation that puts a particular political party at an advantage over another.

"Citing or invoking or doing something of religious propaganda on the Sabarimala issue by invoking the name of Sabari God, etc., will be a clear violation of the model code of conduct," Meena said.

He added that the Sabarimala issue was a controversial matter as far as was concerned and "need to draw a line to what extent they have to use it".

"Tomorrow, I am holding a meeting with political parties in this regard and I will be requesting them not to unnecessarily use this religious feeling or religious traditions to solicit votes as this may create some religious tensions among people.

If that happens, action will be taken against those responsible," Meena said.

said as per election rules no one can speak against the order on the Sabarimala matter and no stand can be taken against other religions during the elections.

Kerala witnessed widespread violence by devotees and right-wing activists after the decided to implement the Supreme Court's September 28, 2018 verdict allowing women of all ages into the

The BJP has already pinned its hope on the Sabarimala issue as it believes that it was able to create a momentum among its workers.

The saffron party's central leadership brought back former BJP state chief Kummanam Rajashekharan, who was appointed as nine months ago, to lead the party in the state.

The Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and continue for over a month till May 19 across seven phases, followed by counting of votes on May 23.

Kerala will go to the polls on April 23.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 11 2019. 21:00 IST
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