The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Election Commission of India’s (ECI’s) decision to revoke former chief minister and Congress leader, Kamal Nath’s, status as star campaigner due to alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for his speeches.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, said, we stay the matter, till we further hear the case. The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister against ECI’s decision to revoke his status.
During the course of the hearing, senior advocate, Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the ECI, told the apex court that Commission had acted as per law and revoked Kamal Nath’s status. Nath had allegedly referred to BJP leader Imarti Devi as an ‘item’ during a by-election rally, sparking a controversy. Imarti Devi is contesting the Madhya Pradesh by-polls on the BJP ticket from Dabra.
Nath had later expressed regret over his remarks and said he did not intend to insult anyone. However, he said there was no need for him to apologise. “Why should I apologise when I did not intend to insult anyone? If anyone felt insulted, I have already expressed regret,” Nath had said.
Voting on 28 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh by-polls will take place on November 3 and the results will be declared on November 10. By-elections are due on 28 seats following the resignation of 25 MLAs and the death of three legislators earlier.
In March this year, 22 Congress MLAs resigned from the state Assembly paving the way for BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan to take over as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for the fourth time.