Congress is seeking to curtail the freedom of expression : Meenakshi Lekhi



  • Seeking a ban on opinion Polls restricts freedom of speech
  • Congress can seek a ban on opinion polls, not on the ‘Modi wave’

The recent official statement to Election Commission by Congress seeking a ban on opinion poll is not only unconstitutional but also restricts the freedom of speech of the media and the citizens of the country. The validity of an opinion poll may or may not be reliable in a country as diverse as India. However, banning of the entire process only seeks to curtail the freedom of expression. Instead of focusing on the policies and issues that have been plaguing the entire country, the move is Congress’ attempt to muffle the voice of the country where the anti-congress wave is apparent. The Congress has in the past supported opinion polls in the 2004 and 2009 General Elections and 2013 Karanataka state assembly elections. Various opinion polls have recently projected BJP Prime Ministerial Candidate, Narendra Modi to be ahead of Congress’ Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the upcoming General Elections in 2014. It is for this reason that Congress is now against opinion polls fearing it would drive the undecided candidates to vote in favour of the BJP. It is a matter of grave concern that while the 18-page report titled ‘Modi-fying our View: Raise India to Marketweight’ has upgraded India’s economic view after Modi wins the elections in 2014, Indian Ministers like Anand Sharma have acted like Congress spokespersons to oppose the report. Instead of looking at the wider picture in times of such economic slug in the country, the pessimism portrayed by these ministers raises serious questions about their idea of India. This is not the first time that Congress is seeking to curtail the freedom of expression. During the various agitations in the recent past like the Ramdev agitation and the Nirbhaya case youth agitation, Congress was at the receiving end of criticism through Social Media. Instead of showing concern even then, the party had blocked people from the social media platform. The recent Information and Broadcasting Ministry advisory to media about not comparing the projected Prime Ministerial candidate and the sitting Prime Minister’s speeches is another attempt on the same road to muzzle the voices of the citizens.  The Congress is so obsessed with the Nazis and their ideology that they are now resorting to fascist ideas such as banning the media, press and opinion polls. The entire episode is taking us down the 1975 road when dictatorship was imposed on the citizens of the country in name of emergency. The barbaric mindset may compel them to suppress everything that is not in their favour, but changing the voice of the citizens and banning the ‘Modi wave’ would be a difficult task to achieve.


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