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PM Modi's 'election postponed post-Rajiv Gandhi's death' remark sparks online debate, user shares 'proof'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a blockbuster show on India TV, said that the Lok Sabha Elections were postponed in the entire country after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. A user on X shared the "proof" of the Prime Minister's remarks.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Updated on: May 24, 2024 12:10 IST
PM Modi on India TV, PM Modi on Election Commission, Rajat Sharma, ECI
Image Source : INDIA TV/PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Election Commission of India

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a blockbuster interview with Rajat Sharma in India TV’s show ‘Salaam India’, raised questions over the postponement of Lok Sabha Elections in the country after the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, sparking a debate online regarding the impartiality of the Election Commission during the Congress rule. PM Modi appeared in the biggest interview of the election season on Thursday (May 23) and answered Rajat Sharma’s questions.

Online debate on ECI

Soon after the Prime Minister’s remarks on the Election Commission, a person named Akhilesh Mishra made a series of posts on X, and shared the paper cuttings of those days showing how Congress appealed to the people to vote for the party.

“EC rules mandate that if a candidate dies during elections, then the election on that particular seat is countermanded and then held at a later date. There is NO rule to postpone the entire election for just one seat. Yet, this was exactly what was done when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in May 1991. The entire election was postponed by three weeks,” Mishra posted on X.

He cited the paper cutting and said that seven chief ministers of the time had opposed the postponement of the elections, yet the then chief election commissioner TN Seshan postponed the elections.

“As many as seven (7) Chief Ministers bitterly opposed this postponement of the elections. Many called it murder of democracy and Constitution.  Yet, then CEC TN Seshan, a known Congress dynasty loyalist, went ahead and postponed the elections in a completely arbitrary action,” he said.

Given time used by Congress to seek sympathy votes: Mishra

The user said that the three-week time given by the Election Commission was used by the Congress party to garner sympathy votes as the party was “heading for a complete rout”.

“These three weeks were then used by the Congress party to seek sympathy votes. Before the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, Congress was heading for a complete rout. The three week postponement was then used by the Congress party to take out processions; use Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi in ads; carried out last rites Yatras  - essentially every trick to get sympathy votes. And the end result - the postponement completely upturned the election,” he said.

“Congress was losing heavily in the seats where elections were held before assassination. It would have fared even worse than 1989. In the seats where elections were held after postponement, Congress win ratio was disproportionate. And as was planned, Congress managed to win and form a government, albeit still a minority one. So those who raise questions on the level playing field of current EC - this was the character of the EC under the so called 'legendary' Sheshan,” he added.

Mishra said that Seshan was later “heavily rewarded by Congress” which gave him a ticket to fight against BJP heavyweight LK Advani.

“Later Seshan was heavily rewarded by Congress and he was even made a Congress candidate against L.K.Advani. Many other CECs were similarly 'corrupted' by Congress party. The infamous examples of M.S. Gill or Navin Chawla are well known! So the Congress ecosystem that every day creates fake narrative of level playing field against current EC, they should rather look in their own shady and despicable past,” he said.

ALSO READ | Don't run my govt for good editorial or headline: Top quotes from PM Modi's interview with India TV

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