Election Commission removes Kamal Nath from Congress star campaigner list for his ‘item’ remark for Dalit woman leader

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Kamal Nath' star campaigning status revoked as EC finds him guilty of multiple model code of conduct violations

— Consider reading the article Election Commission removes Kamal Nath from Congress star campaigner list for his ‘item’ remark for Dalit woman leader on OpIndia website —

The Election Commission has revoked the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Congress leader Kamal Nath’s star campaigner status in Madhya Pradesh after he was found committing multiple model code violations.

Nath had been reckless in choosing his words while campaigning for the Congress party in upcoming bypolls in the state. The Election Commission had rapped Nath for his use of word ‘item’ for a woman candidate and stated that the usage of the said word for a woman constitutes a violation of the advisory issued by the commission.

Election Commission revokes Kamal Nath’s star campaigning status over his ‘item’ remark

Pulling up Kamal Nath, the Election Commission said that it is unbecoming of a leader of a political party to resort to using degrading words such as ‘item’ to address a woman during campaigning for the by-elections while the Model Code of Conduct is in effect.

This was not the only instance when Kamal Nath was accused of breaching model codes and using inappropriate words in his public utterances. While attacking the current CM of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Nath had described him as “nautanki ke kalakar” and stated that “Your God is mafia through which you established the identity of Madhya Pradesh…your God is a ‘milawat-khor’ (adulterator)”.The Election Commission had also taken offence on these words, saying that its report confirms the violation of model code of conduct.

With Nath being revoked from the Congress’ star campaigning list, if he is found campaigning henceforth onwards, the entire expenditure of the campaign will be borne by the candidate in whose constituency the campaign is being undertaken, the order issued by the Election Commission said. The order further added that the Model Code of Conduct has evolved over several decades with the consensus of all the political parties to maintain level playing field as well as ethical and dignified behaviour during the campaigning before the elections.

Nath’s demeaning and objectifying remarks had stirred a furore in Madhya Pradesh’s politics and elicited a sharp response from the BJP, particularly Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was uncharacteristically strident in criticising the Congress leaders for his sexist jibe on Imarti Devi.

Kamal Nath calls Dalit leader Imarti Devi as ‘item’ in an election rally

In an election meeting on Sunday for the upcoming bypoll in Gwalior’s Dabra town, where BJP’s Imarti Devi is in the fray, Nath had said that the Congress candidate, Suresh Raje, was a “simple person” unlike his opponent who was an “item”. The Congress supporters present in the crowd were found hooting and cheering at the despicable remark from the close aide of Rahul Gandhi.

The BJP had then lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over the indecent comment made by Kamal Nath against Imarti Devi. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that Kamal Nath should withdraw his remarks and issue an apology over the same. “Kamal Nath! Imarti Devi is the name of the daughter of a poor farmer who started working as a public servant in the village and today she is supporting the nation building. The Congress called me ‘hungry-naked’ and for a woman using a word like ‘item’ has again exposed your feudalist mentality,” he said.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan led BJP leaders in silent protest against Kamal Nath’s offensive statements against BJP candidate Imarti Devi. Chouhan urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to condemn the act and remove state Congress chief Kamal Nath from all party posts for his remarks against Imarti Devi, the state’s women and child development minister and a Dalit woman.

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