The Election Commission’s order removing Congress’s Kamal Nath as the star campaigner for the by-elections in Madhya Pradesh has been put on hold by the Supreme Court. “We are staying the Election Commission’s order and the EC has no power,” said Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.
“Who has given power to you (the Election Commission) to remove a candidate from the star campaigner list? It is you or a leader of the party?” Chief Justice Bobde said.
The decision came on a plea filed by the former Chief Minister.
On October 30, the Election Commission stripped Kamal Nath of his star campaigner status over his series of controversial remarks, which, the commission said, were “repeated violation of model code of conduct” and “complete disregard” of warnings to him.
Kamal Nath, being a leader of a political party, had repeatedly “breached ethical and dignified behaviour”, the commission said in its order.
Earlier, the Commission had issued a warning to the 73-year-old over his “item” remark for BJP leader Imarti Devi.
While campaigning in Dabra last month, Mr Nath had mocked Imarti Devi — a former Congress leader whose exit along with 22 loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia in March had led to the collapse of his government.
During a poll meeting, Mr Nath had said the Congress candidate was a “simple person” unlike his rival, who was an “item”.
The poll panel had warned him against the use of “such words or statements” when the model code of conduct was in place.