India’s Election Commission: buried under tide of complaints, bias allegations

India’s Election Commission: buried under tide of complaints, bias allegations

Releasing the manifesto, called "Sankalp Patra" (Document of Resolve), at the party headquarters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Nationalism is our inspiration, empowering the poor is our philosophy and good governance is our mantra".

But the model code of conduct has became a joke, said Tarun Kumar, an official of the main opposition Congress party, because NaMO TV, a recently launched television channel that broadcasts Modi's rallies live, as well as promotional material for the ruling party, was still on air, despite complaints. This means the promises made in manifesto have not been kept and it is akin to cheating people. "And it's not something that I am saying, but what has been said by the government's own NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation) data", he added.

The Congress rubbished the BJP's claim of doubling farmers' income and pointed out it would take 28 years to do so at the current rate of agricultural growth.

The Congress leader also said that the BJP had not brought back ₹80 lakh crore of black money and deposited ₹15 lakh in each citizen's bank account as it had promised.

With its strikes on terror, the Modi-led government had sent out a strong message that India could not be taken lightly, the BJP chief said.

"Congress President Rahul Gandhi answered over half a dozen questions of reporters whereas the Prime Minister and BJP leaders answered none".

Another commission official, requesting anonymity, said that in the past three weeks they would have received more than 1 million complaints from regional parties, national parties, through social media and on the app.

On Monday, the party said it would scrap decades-old special rights for the people of Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir so as to integrate the state more closely with the rest of the country, a move the party's base has long sought.

The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls will begin on April 11 and continue till May 19.

Among other things, the manifesto pledged zero tolerance towards terrorism, promised pension for small and marginal farmers and 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state Assemblies through a constitutional amendment.

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