As the elections progress further, it seems that the opposition parties have stopped giving any regard to the Model Code of Conduct and the guidelines issued for campaigning. In the latest instance, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the supposed pioneer of fairness in the Congress clan, known for promoting equality, has been seen involving children in Congress campaigning. The Congress general secretary, usually involved in seeking and encouraging welfare policies for women and children, has hypocritically used children for her campaign against the ruling party.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra can be seen in a video with a group of children, shouting slogans supporting Congress. The kids were forced to yell “Chowkidar chor hai” for Priyanka’s benefit, who was beyond thrilled, smiling and nodding gleefully, to signal her absolute agreement. Encouraged with Priyanka Gandhi’s delightful reaction, the kids went a step further and became abusive by shouting “neem ka pata kadva hai, Modi……” Priyanka Vadra realised this was downright cheap and disgusting, moreover will lead to a huge backlash and negative publicity in the media, so told the children “yeh walla nahi”; thus implying that other slogans are alright, just not this particular one. Priyanka Gandhi’s obvious approval to the slogans had dared the children to shout such derogatory slogans about the Prime Minister of the country. Nevertheless, unperturbed by the half hearted interruption, the children went on to yell ‘Rahul Gandhi zindabad’.
In light of this uncouth incident, The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, asking it to take ‘necessary action’.
In its letter to the EC, NCPCR stated, “The Commission is in receipt of a complaint, wherein a video link has been shared, in which it is seen that children are actively participating in election campaigning. The children can be seen making derogatory remarks and using abusive languages in the presence of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi”.
The commission went on to add that in a letter, on January 20, 2017, it had asked EC to ensure that children are not involved for election purposes and also, had recommended to all national parties to not use children for distribution of posters/pamphlets, participate in slogan shouting, rallies etc.
However, the Congress considers themselves above the guidelines issued by the EC for the election. According to them, if a guideline issued is not legally enforceable, it is to be ignored. Blind in their desperation for garnering votes, the grand old party has now resorted to such filthy tactics, using the children for personal gains. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was being viewed as a role model by the children, hence they were being overly zealous to please her. These children are the future of the country. One has to imagine the effect this encouragement of abusive and vile behavior will have on a child’s development process and the kind of persons they will grow up into.