TODAY -

Caesar's wife must be above suspicion
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: April 08, 2024 -



BY asserting that there is no harm in people coming to the Chief Minister's bungalow as it belongs to the people and the stream of people, especially womenfolk seen going inside and coming out from the bungalow in the last few days is not related with the upcoming the 18th Lok Sabha elections, chief minister of Manipur N Biren Singh seems to have reignited a long running debate that his counterparts in other BJP-ruled states had started.

Way back in March, 2019, the then Gujarat CEO S Murali Krishna ordered an inquiry into the allegation of BjP's parliamentary board meeting being held at the official residence of chief minister Vijay Rupani in violation of the model code of conduct, which was in place for the 17th Lok Sabha elections.

The CEO confirmed the order to investigate the complaint filed by Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee's election coordination committee chairman Balubhai Patel after the official twitter (now X) account of BJP Gujarat Pradesh uploaded several pictures of the meeting, which were then reposted by its leaders including BjP state president jitubhai Vaghani, who defended the decision to use the CM's office citing security reasons.

However, Congress party's chief spokesperson Manish Doshi was quick enough to counter with the retort "If Kamalam (the state unit BJP office where meetings were generally held) is not safe for the chief minister, how can the state government (be expected) to provide safety and security to six crore citizens of the state?"

Not to be outdone, BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya promptly issued a statement asserting that the party is allowed to hold such meetings as per rules and advised Congress to stop raking up such unnecessary issues, while asking the Congress party to explain why its meetings are being held at the official residence of Sonia Gandhi.

Ultimately, the inquiry report of Gujarat CEO had given clean chit to the ruling party, stating that the probe into the matter did not suggest any violation of the model code of conduct.

Very recently, opposition Congress and ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh were at loggerheads again with the state's Congress Committee filing a complaint to the Election Commission of India on March 30 last demanding action over the alleged violation of model code of conduct being enforced for the 18th Lok Sabha election by the BJP unit in Madhya Pradesh by convening an election strategy of the party at chief minister Dr Mohan Yadav's official residence.

As in the Gujarat case, the complaint of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee followed BjP leaders including chief minister Mohan Yadav sharing pictures of the said meeting on social media platforms.

In its complaint, Congress party contended that the Chief Minister's official residence is a government property and so it is wrong to use it to prepare BJP's election strategy or organise any election related meetings.

It is not known whether the Election Commission has taken cognisance of the complaint or ordered an inquiry into the matter, but, in all likelihood, the ruling party may get the clean chit in this case as well.

Taking all these antecedents into consideration, it would be nothing but naivety to expect anything would come out from the complaint lodged by Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) to the CEO over the frequent gatherings of people, especially womenfolk, at chief minister N Biren Singh's official residence after the election notification was issued.

And, the chief minister seems to know this exactly as he asserted that there is no harm in people coming to the Chief Minister's bungalow as it beings to the people.

But the moot question here is, why the gate of the Chief Minister's bungalow has been opened widely to welcome a stream of people when the crucial 18th Lok Sabha election is knocking on the door while it had remained secured and was off limit for the aggrieved people during the height of the ongoing ethnic crisis in the state.

Doesn't it evoke something suspicious? AfteralI, Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.



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