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"Modi may be someone's political rival but...", Delhi HC remarks on plea against showcasing of govt's achievements

By Shreya Agarwal      05 January, 2024 02:51 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: "He (Narendra Modi) may be someone’s political rival but if this is being used for last mile connectivity of beneficial schemes, you can't have a grievance with that,” Delhi High Court observed today on a plea against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre's use of officials, resources in the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.

The Court was hearing a plea against the alleged use of public servants and defence personnel by the BJP-led Centre to spread "political propaganda" in showcasing the government's achievements in the last 9 years.

“One cannot have any issue if there is no political insignia or political party involved... Prime Minister is elected by people and is holding a constitutional post,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora remarked.

The Court has directed the Centre to put two notes cited by them on record and by allowing the petitioner to file an additional affidavit by the next date.

Defending the move, the Centre represented by Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma had pointed out that the Yatra as well as the Defence Ministry's efforts to showcase the achievements of the Indian armed forces was only to familiarize people with the developments in the field.

Referring to the selfie points that have been built by the Indian Army, the Centre stated that they were merely for the purpose of inspiring young women to join the armed forces.

The moves are meant to spread awareness amongst people about the steps India has taken towards self-reliance in the defence sector, as well as about schemes like Agnipath.

The government also contended that lakhs of people have benefitted from Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra wherein they have been screened for diseases like Tuberculosis and made aware of the government's beneficial schemes like Ayushman Bharat.

However, the counsels for the petitioners insisted, “Everything is political. It has nothing to do with the schemes. All these selfie points have placard of the Prime Minister and each one of these is costing ₹6.5 lakhs."



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