PM Modi in no mood to heed Kharge’s advice to keep civil servants, soldiers out of politics: Congress
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday welcomed Election Commission’s decision barring sending of senior government officers as ‘rath prabharis’ to poll-bound states but noted that it is clear now that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in no mood to heed Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s advice that civil servants and soldiers be kept out of politics.
It also said that it will pursue all options to put an end to this completely unacceptable and dangerous practice that degrades and threatens the country’s democracy.
In a post on X, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “While it is welcome that the Election Commission has acted on the complaint of Congress and forced the Modi government to backtrack on sending senior bureaucrats as ‘Rath Prabharis’ to poll-bound states, the larger issue of the blatant use of officers for what is essentially a programme to implement one-man’s personal political propaganda remains.
“It is clear now that the PM is in no mood to heed to Kharge ji’s letter to him on 22 October to keep civil servants and soldiers out of politics.
“The Congress party will pursue all options to put an end to this completely unacceptable and dangerous practice that degrades and threatens our democracy”.
His remarks came days after the poll panel had said that the ‘rath prabhari’ of the Narendra Modi-led government cannot be implemented in poll-bound states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram which will be go to polls from November 7 to November 30 and counting of votes scheduled on December 3.
The poll panel said that it has been brought to the notice of the Commission that a letter has been circulated to the Ministries for nomination of senior officers as “District Rath Praharis” as special officers for the proposed ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’ starting from November 20.
In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary on October 26, the Commission said that it has announced the schedule for elections to the Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana, and a bye-election in Nagaland on October 9.
“The provisions of the Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates have come into force from the date of announcement tentatively till December 5, 2023. In view of the foregoing, Commission has directed that the aforesaid activities should not be taken in the constituencies where Model Code of Conduct is in force up till December 5, 2023,” the EC had said.