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Mind your language, PM tells Modi

Expressindia & Agencies

Posted: Aug 24, 2002 at 2141 hrs IST

Breaking his silence on the controversy over the Election Commission’s decision to not hold early elections in Gujarat, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, in an admonishing tone, on Saturday reminded the Chief Minister not to cross the limits of decency in his criticism of the Election Commission.

In a carefully worded statement, the Prime Minister made clear his displeasure at the manner in which the issue was being debated without tilting towards any party.

"I am distressed by the undignified controversy involving the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Minister of Gujarat in the context of the Assembly elections in Gujarat. Both are high constitutinal authorities and they must be given the respect that is their due," the PM said in a statement.

Making insinuations at the CEC, Narendra Modi at a rally near Vadodara on Tuesday said, ‘‘Someone asked me, has Lyngdoh come from Italy. I said we would need to ask Rajiv Gandhi. Someone asked, ‘Is he a relation of Sonia Gandhi?" The CEC on Friday dismissed the Gujarat CM and his party’s attack on him as the ‘‘gossip of menials.’’

"One may have differences over the decision or the attendant observations of the Election Commission with regard to the Assembly polls in Gujarat. There are constitutional means to deal with such matters. But no one should use improper language or make indecorous insinuations in expressing their views," the statement said.

Making an appeal for and end to the "unseemly" controversy, the PM said, "It must be recognized by one and all that the maturity of our democracy lies in all its institutions working within their constitutional limits, respecting each other's domain and maintaining a proper balance."

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