Don’t invoke religious sentiments for votes, EC warns political parties

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of some politicians allegedly making statements invoking religious sentiments, the Election Commission on Saturday dubbed it as an unhealthy trend and asked them to desist from such remarks.

In a letter sent to leaders of all recognised political parties, the poll panel advised leaders to observe “self-imposed restraint” while campaigning.

“The Commission has noted with dismay that (past) advisories are not having the desired result and has noted a disturbing tendency of inflammatory statements being made by political leaders with underlying object of mixing religion with election campaign,” it said.

The poll watchdog also said some of the statements were made from places where the model code is not in force.

It said in this electronic age, such remarks easily reach places where election process is on and disturbs the level playing field for other candidates.

Urging parties and leaders to “reverse the trend”, the Commission said such speeches indicate an “unhealthy trend” which is a cause of concern.