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 while hearing a petition filed by the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister.
“Where do you get the power to determine who will be the leader of a political party? It is for you or the party to decide who is the star campaigner?” he added.
The Election Commission said it would file a response at the earliest. “The Supreme Court is supreme. The EC has been given an opportunity to file a reply in the matter, which shall be filed at the earliest,” the commission said.
On October 30, the Election Commission stripped Kamal Nath of his star campaigner status over a series of his 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.