New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday dubbed Congress as a
party of "serial offenders" with several of its leaders
defying the model code and going against the Election
Commission and insisted that poll laws are legally binding on
all parties and candidates.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said
wherever law is silent on an issue, the EC will prevail during
polls under Article 324 of the Constitution.
"Free and fair elections are a part of the basic structure
of the Constitution. In the space occupied by law, the law
will prevail. For the rest, executive jurisdiction of the EC
will prevail," Jaitley said, adding that model code of the EC
falls in the latter category.
"Article 324 of the Constitution is the reservoir of all
residuary jurisdiction," Jaitley said.
The BJP leader maintained that it would not allow the
weakening of the EC and strongly oppose any dilution of its
powers through any legislation.
He insisted that to say that the model code is not binding
is wrong and alleged that the Congress has breached the model
code several times.
"Congress leaders, both big and small, have violated the
model code. It has become a party of serial offenders of the
model code. Its leaders have absolutely no concern for it and
see it with contempt," Jaitley said.
Union Ministers Salman Kurshid and Beni Prasad Verma have
drawn the ire of the EC after they promised 4.5 per cent
sub-quota to the minorities. Now an FIR has been lodged
against Rahul Gandhi for taking out a procession covering more
kilometres and time than permitted by the EC.