State panel slams SS (UBT) leader Sushma Andhare for ‘using kids in polls’

Mumbai, Apr 14 (IANS): The Maharashtra Child Rights Commission has complained to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking action against Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sushma Andhare for allegedly using children for political leverage, officials said here on Saturday.

In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S. Chokalingam and ECI CEC Rajeev Kumar, Shah has said that Andhare had organised a media conference against the ruling MahaYuti Lok Sabha MP Ramdas Tadas, and now Wardha candidate, in which his estranged daughter-in-law Pooja Pankaj Tadas was also present.

Shah alleged that in that meeting, ‘Andhare also brought Tadas’ 17-month-old grandson on the stage’ and said it amounted to violating the election code of conduct which strictly prohibits the use of children for political gains or election campaigning.

“The matter will be investigated at the Commission level. We have demanded appropriate action by the ECI,” said Shah in a statement.

She pointed out that the ECI rules state that “children cannot be used for any work related to the elections like campaign meetings, morchas, sloganeering, and posters.”

Political leaders and candidates are also barred from carrying children in their arms, in vehicles or at rallies, and restricted from using children in political campaigns in any manner, including poems, songs, spoken words, display of political party/candidate symbols, display of political party ideology, and promotion or success of a political party.

Despite such clear regulations, Shah said that Andhare blatantly flouted the rules, as using children for politics is considered a crime worldwide and it should be seriously probed.

It may be recalled that on April 11, Andhare and independent candidate from Wardha LS seat Pooja held a press conference in which the latter sought justice for herself and her toddler son from the Tadas family.

Pooja Tadas also narrated the tortures, assault and humiliation at the hands of the Tadas family, including her husband Pankaj Tadas.

Today (April 13), Pankaj Tadas denied all the allegations hurled by his estranged wife (Pooja), claiming he had a lot of evidence to prove his contentions, among other things.



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Title: State panel slams SS (UBT) leader Sushma Andhare for ‘using kids in polls’

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