The Election Commission of India has allegedly transformed into the Modi-Shah Election Commission, Shiv Sena leader (UBT) Sanjay Raut alleged on Sunday. He said that the constitutional body responsible for conducting elections to the Parliament and state legislatures has turned into a "caged parrot" and it has become a "sham".
Raut also charged that the current Election Commission of India has become a "symbol of hypocrisy" and "double standards".
"The country once had an election commission that could carry out its duties independently, as witnessed during Seshan's tenure. If the tiger [Election Commission] wagged its tail, all political parties would tremble. The same Election Commission has now become a parrot in a cage," Raut stated in his weekly column in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece Saamna.
He alleged that the current commission is "practising double standards in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party".
Raut further pointed out that Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray, faced consequences when he sought votes for party candidate Ramesh Prabhu on the issue of Hindutva in the 1987 Vile Parle bypoll. Three Sena MLAs were also disqualified. However, he alleged that "They [BJP] managed the Election Commission and other constitutional bodies and fought the Hindutva battle".
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena leader also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah go on political campaigning with their government officials, and the Election Commission remains blind to it.
"First, the Prime Minister should not enter the election campaign, and if he does, his party should bear the entire cost. The Election Commission cannot turn a blind eye to it. It should be surprising that these types of religious propaganda and hate speech at the expense of the government do not bother today's Election Commission," he continued in the article.
Earlier this week, the Shiv Sena (UBT) wrote to the ECI over Amit Shah's Ram Temple tour promise, asking if the poll body had relaxed the Model Code of Conduct.