Former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath has moved the Supreme Court challenging Election Commission’s decision to revoke his “star campaigner” status for violations of the model code during campaign for the bye-polls in 28 assembly constituencies in the state.
The plea filed by Advocate-on-Record VKC Law Offices and drafted by Advocates Varun K Chopra and Gurtejpal Singh states that the October 30 order of the poll body is illegal, arbitrary, and unreasoned.
The order is passed in complete violation of basic canons of natural justice and in negation of fairplay and therefore, deserves to be quashed. Further, no notice has been issued to the Petitioner with regard to the impugned Order in complete violation of principles of natural injustice
Former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath in his plea states that ECI had already passed an order on October 26 on the same complaint by BJP and had advised the Congress leader to not use such words.
However “punishing him again” by an October 30 order is “completely in teeth of principles of fair play and res judicata.”
In its order, the ECI had stated that Nath’s star campaigner status was being revoked for “repeated violation of the Model Code of Conduct” and for “complete disregard” of warnings issued to him.
According to ECI, Former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, being a leader of a political party, had repeatedly “breached ethical and dignified behaviour”.
However,Former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath has claimed in his plea that such an order is “illegal” and in “violation of his and the Congress’ constitutional and statutory rights.”
The difference between a campaigner anda Star Pracharak is that for the former, the cost of his travel, stay and everything else will be from his limited poll expenses. On the other hand, a star campaigner’s expenses go to the party account and can be unlimited.
Kamal Nath had earlier been warned by the Election Commission after he used the word “item” for a woman BJP candidate, a former Congress leader among the 22 MLAs whose exit led to the collapse of his government in March.