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Gujarat Elections 2022: Congress lodges complaint over ‘misuse’ of children in PM Modi’s campaign video

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New Delhi, Nov 22: Gujarat poll battle kicked into high gear on Tuesday with the Congress filing a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for using children for their political campaign in the run up to the Gujarat assembly polls.

Image credit: @SupriyaShrinate

"We have lodged a complaint before Priyank Kanoongo of NCPCR against misuse of children for election and political campaigns by PM Modi in Gujarat. Have also marked a copy to the Election Commission for violation of the model code of conduct. Mr Kanoongo, you have been conspicuously quiet. Why?" the Congress' social media department chairperson Supriya Shrinate asked on Twitter while sharing her complaint.

Reacting to the post, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, "This is an open and shut case of violation of child rights and misuse of children for electioneering by the PM himself. NCPCR and EC are on a severe test now."

In her complaint to the NCPCR, Shrinate accused the BJP and Narendra Modi of "misusing minor children for election and political campaign" during Gujarat assembly elections.

Alleging that these actions are not only illegal under the law but are also in clear violation of the NCPCR and the Election Commission's instructions, she hoped that the Chairman of the Commission would take strict action in the case at the earliest.

"The impugned video with the minor child singing and campaigning for BJP has been endorsed (through re-tweets) and shared across various social media platforms, thereby making it amply evident that the said video and the minor child therein are being used for election campaign of BJP by Shri Narendra Modi ji.

"The election commission of India and other quasi judicial bodies have time and again advised against the use of children as political actors/agents/mascots in any form or fashion for election campaigns," she said in her complaint.

The Congress leader said that a few weeks ago the NCPCR was particularly concerned about the very presence of children in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which, she said, is an exercise to bring India and Indians together.

"We hope that the concern was not selective and that you shall take the strictest and immediate action against the offenders in question who have egregiously, and without a shred of doubt, used a minor child for express campaign purposes. This is an actionable claim since it directly violates your own directive.

"We hope you will act swiftly against the offenders. We look forward to your timely intervention," Shrinate said in her complaint.

The controversy erupted after prime minister is seen in a video in which a girl was seen speaking about BJP's governance in Gujarati.

with PTI inputs

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