The Election Commission is likely to issue a notice to Bengali cine star Deepak Adhikari, alias Dev, a Trinamool Congress candidate from West Bengal, for his controversial comments on comparing poll campaign with rape.
This was conveyed to a joint delegation of several women's organisations, which met Election Commissioner H S Brahma here today and submitted a memorandum seeking the poll panel's intervention and stringent action against Dev who is contesting from Ghatal constitutency. "Surely, action against such atrocious statements (falls) within the jurisdiction of the Election Commission. The election code for the conduct of political parties and candidates must include a specific clause that debars such statements," the memorandum said.
Later, leaders of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) and National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) told PTI that the Commission responded to the complaint "positively". The poll panel assured the delegation that "a notice would be issued to the TMC candidate. They will also consider such statements as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct," AIDWA General Secretary Jagmati Sangwan said.
The AIDWA statement said that besides issuing a notice to Dev, "it is also essential to issue a public warning to all political parties and candidates to desist from making sexist and misogynist statements and that any such statement will constitute a violation of the code of conduct." NFIW General Secretary Annie Raja said the model code should be reviewed to specifically incorporate sexist and anti-women remarks and recommended strict action against those responsible for making them.
An NFIW statement said the women leaders demanded "the EC should not accept Dev's candidature so that it will be the beginning of the end of all such sexist and anti-women comments by members of political parties." Besides Sangwan and Raja, the delegation also included Padmini (Joint Women's Programme), Rosylin (Young Women's Christian Association of India), Maimoona Mollah (Janwadi Mahila Samity, Delhi) and Vimal Thorat (All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch).