Trinamool accuses PM Modi of misusing government funds for campaigning

TMC said PM's message highlighting his govt's programmes reached the electorate on 16 March, after the model code of conduct came into force

TMC MP Derek O'Brien (photo: National Herald archives)
TMC MP Derek O'Brien (photo: National Herald archives)


The Trinamool Congress has complained to the Election Commission alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the BJP candidate from Varanasi, has violated the model code of conduct by using central government funds for campaigning.

In a letter addressed to the chief election commissioner on Monday, 18 March, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien said a message by the PM highlighting his government's programmes reached the electorate on 16 March, after the model code of conduct came into force.

Modi has purportedly written the message in the form of a letter to the voters on 15 March, the TMC leader claimed.

"By using the office of the prime minister, the BJP has issued the aforesaid letter at the cost of the public exchequer under the guise of a message seemingly sent by the Government of India. Such mass circulation is nothing but an appeal to the voters in favour of the BJP and Mr Modi and thereby flouting the mandate of the Election Commission of India," O'Brien said in the complaint.

He urged the "EC to ensure that appropriate directions are issued to the BJP and its candidate Modi to withhold from future campaigns at the cost of public exchequer, to withdraw the letter".

O'Brien said that the cost of sending the prime minister's letter to the electorate should also be included in the accounts of the BJP and Modi against the head "election expenditure".

BJP Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya told PTI on Tuesday, "the concerned person (Derek O'Brien) keeps posting tweets and sharing images on X handle. Let him move the EC, let him move the SC, if he wants, with such untrue and preposterous claims though it will not help his party win the hearts of people of the country, of Bengal, which Narendra Modi has won, by his good governance and pro-people image and policies".

Claiming that the PMO has not violated any code of conduct, Bhattacharya added, "TMC leaders have no place in the hearts of people and that will be clear after the polls conducted by Election Commission".

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