New Delhi: An RTI activist Debashish Bhattacharya has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) stating that granting of Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar is a violation of model code of conduct.
The petition says Sachin Tendulkar is a Congress nominated Rajya Sabha MP and honouring him with the Bharat Ratna can influence crores of fans who are also voters in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram where the election process is on.
The Government of India on Saturday decided to award the Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar, who incidentally retired the same day in the morning after playing his 200th Test in Mumbai.
Tendulkar and eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao were the two names announced by the government for the highest civilian award.
But soon after Tendulkar was honoured with Bharat Ratna, a controversy erupted with many political leaders demanding that their leaders should also be bestowed with the same award. Several people have also pointed out that hockey wizard Major Dhyanchand should have been given the Bharat Ratna before Tendulkar, who is the first sportsperson to get the honour.
Full text of the petition:
The Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India, Nirvachan Sadan,
New Delhi -110001.
Re : Violation of Model Code of Conduct.
You are aware that the model code of conduct is presently in force which bars the government of the day from taking any decisions with an object to influence the voters.
To my shock and dismay, the Government of India has announced Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar in haste to gain the goodwill of voters and to influence the voters in the elections to vote for the ruling Indian National Congress Party.
Despite being mindful of their limitations to follow the model code of conduct, the Central Government has acted in haste with the sole objective to influence voters.
When the Government had to appoint a Lokayukta for Delhi, they deferred the appointment of the watch-dog against corruption citing model code of conduct as a a reason. But when the same government gets an opportunity to appease Sachin fans to vote for the Congress Party, the Government declared Barat Ratna for Sa chin in haste and in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
I request you to kindly initiate suitable action against this violation of model code of conduct including canceling the decision of the Government since the same violates the model code of conduct.
Sir, I will go a step further. By declaring Bharat Ratna, the Government of the ruling party i.e. Indian National Congress has influenced crores of the fans of Sachin Tendulkar across the nation who will vote in other states also during the present election schedule of Election Commission.
It is pertinent to mention that Sachin Tendulkar is a nominated member of Rajya Sabha and the nomination was done by the government of the ruling party i.e. Indian National Congress. Now, the same government has awarded Sachin Tendulkar the Bharat Ratna without waiting for 20 odd days. THE INTENTION IS CRYSTAL CLEAR- THE RULING PARTY HAS NOT ONLY TRIED TO INFLUENCE BUT IN FACT INFLUENCED CRORES OF SACHIN TENDULKAR FANS IN THE MIDST OF ONGOING ELECTIONS.
BUT IN FACT INFLUENCED CRORES OF SACHIN TENDULKAR FANS IN THE MIDST OF ONGOING ELECTIONS.
On the other hand a large section of intellectuals were also influenced by the ruling party when the Bharat Ratna was awarded to the scientist C.N.R. Rao. In the history of independent India never it happened that in the midst of ongoing elections the Bharat Ratna was awarded to anybody.
Sir, if the Election Commission will not take an exemplary view of this development on my present complaint then in future such kind of acts will become a routine for the governments of the future. Bharat Ratna is the most revered award and therefore it is a very important decision of the government to declare this award.
The government of the day has made the mockery of the standards of the election ethics and the Election Commission is certainly expected to take necessary action to provide the equal battle field for all the parties to contest the elections.
A speedy, appropriate and exemplary action is awaited from the Election Commission.
(Dev Ashish Bhattacharya)