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Congress opposes PIL challenging opposition alliance’s use of ‘INDIA’ acronym

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) – The Congress party has strongly opposed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi High Court, challenging the use of the acronym INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) for their bloc. The PIL, filed by businessman Girish Bharadwaj, aims for resolution before the first phase of the Lok Sabha election on April 19.

The Delhi High Court has granted the last chance for parties like Congress, TMC, and DMK to respond within a week. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora is set to hear the matter on April 10. Congress has labeled the PIL as politically motivated and lacking substance.

According to the affidavit submitted by Congress, the PIL lacks concrete examples or evidence to support its allegations against Congress and its alliance partners. The party accused the petitioner of hiding their association with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), linked to the BJP and RSS, for political motives rather than genuine public interest concerns.

The Congress response dismissed claims of violations under the Emblem Act, stating that no evidence was provided. The party argued that the petitioner failed to show harm caused by the use of the “I.N.D.I.A” acronym or any legal provisions prohibiting its adoption by opposition parties. The affidavit characterized the PIL as frivolous and politically driven.

The Election Commission stated in its counter affidavit that it cannot regulate political alliances under the Representation of People Act. The PIL alleges that the use of the acronym INDIA by respondent political parties is to gain sympathy and votes, potentially inciting political violence. The petitioner claims violations of the Emblems and Names Act of 1950.

Alleging potential harm to peaceful voting in the 2024 general election, the plea highlights the misuse of the national emblem for political gain. The petition warns of adverse effects on citizens’ safety and the country’s law and order due to the selfish acts of political parties. The case is ongoing at the Delhi High Court.


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