‘Remarks undignified’: EC issues showcause notices to Congress’ Supriya Shrinate, BJP’s Dilip Ghosh

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New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday issued showcause notices to Congress leader Supriya Shrinate and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Dilip Ghosh for their “derogatory” remarks against actor Kangana Ranaut and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “On careful examination, the comment(s) have been found to be ‘undignified and in bad taste’, and to be prima facie violative of provisions of the Model Code of Conduct,” the poll panel said.

Supriya Shrinate-Kangana Ranaut row

Controversy sparked when a derogatory and sexist post against Kangana Ranaut surfaced on Supriya Shrinate’s Instagram account. In response, Shrinate released a video clarification, attributing the post to someone with unauthorised access to her social media accounts. She disowned the post, stressing her commitment to respectful discourse. Shrinate also pointed fingers at a parody account mimicking hers as the source of the offensive content.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) intervened, urging the EC to take action against Shrinate. NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma pressed Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take strong measures against Shrinate and another party member, HS Ahir, for their objectionable remarks.

Kangana Ranaut, who is contesting the elections from Mandi constituency, condemned the derogatory remarks, emphasising the need to uphold women’s dignity.

BJP’s Dilip Ghosh under fire

Dilip Ghosh’s comments about Mamata Banerjee also drew flak, with the Trinamool Congress condemning his remarks. Ghosh’s statement prompted the BJP to demand an explanation from him, acknowledging the potential damage to the party’s image in Bengal. Ghosh clarified his stance, expressing regret if his choice of words was deemed inappropriate.

EC’s warning against indecorous discourse

The EC’s intervention comes in the wake of its earlier warning to political parties and leaders regarding the decline in political discourse. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar highlighted the importance of maintaining civility and refraining from making caste or religious appeals. He cautioned against criticising private aspects of opponents’ lives, stressing the enduring nature of digital records.

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