Press Note Attention of the Commission has been invited to certain reports in the print and electronic media that the Election Commission is watching the move of Shri Anna Hazare and his team that they would campaign in the current general elections in five States against the Congress and others who oppose the early passage of the Lokpal Bill. Some reports have even suggested that the Commission is monitoring the funds being raised by the team of Shri Anna Hazare for their present campaign.
The Commission has already clarified repeatedly that everyone has a right to canvass for or against any political party or candidate, as it fully respects the freedom of expression of every Indian citizen guaranteed to them under the Constitution of India. The Commission’s concern is, however, limited to the extent that in such campaigns no inflammatory speeches or slogans are raised which may cause ill-will or disharmony between different sections of Indian citizens disturbing the law and order or the level playing field between the political parties which may have a serious impact on the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections. If anyone indulges in any such unlawful activity, law will certainly take its own course.
As regards the raising of funds by the team of Shri Anna Hazare, the Commission denies that it is monitoring any such fund raising. The reports to that effect are entirely baseless. The Commission would only like to reiterate its clarification already given that if any organization or an individual campaigns in favour of any particular political party or candidate, the expenditure incurred on any such campaign would be liable to be booked in the expenditure account of that party or candidate(s) concerned.
Election Commission of India
New Delhi, 27th December , 2011