New Delhi: The Gujarat police on Wednesday filed two FIRs against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the Election Commission’s orders for poll code violation. FIRs have also been filed against TV channels for airing footage of Modi flashing the BJP’s party symbol and giving a speech after voting in Ahmedabad.
Earlier, the Election Commission had directed the Gujarat administration to file a complaint or FIR against Narendra Modi for violating electoral laws by displaying the BJP’s election symbol and making a speech after casting his vote in Gandhinagar.
“The Commission is of the view that by holding that meeting and also by addressing the same today when polling was going on in the entire state of Gujarat and in different parts of the country, Narendra Modi has violated the provisions of Sections 126 (1)(a) and 126 (l)(b) of R P Act 1951.”
“Therefore, the Commission directs… that complaint/ FIR as the case may be, should be filed against Narendra Modi and all others who were involved in the convening and holding of the said meeting…,” the EC order said.
It had asked the Gujarat Chief Secretary and DGP to send a compliance report by 6 pm today.
The Congress asked the Election Commission to direct Gujarat government to act neutrally on the alleged election model code of conduct violation by Narendra Modi. Modi has “shred into pieces” the model code, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken told reporters.
Another General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said that Modi was a “habitual and serial violator” of the model code. He said a wrong impression would go out if the Commission failed to take action against the BJP PM candidate.
The poll body had also said that all TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings of the meeting and displayed the election matter should also be proceeded against under Section 126 (l) (b) “by filing separate complaints/FlRs against those channels.”
According to the section 126 (1) (a) and (b), there is a prohibition of public meetings during period of 48 hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll. It states that “no person shall: (a) convene, hold or attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election and (b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus.”
The EC took the decision after going through the video recording of the address of the BJP’s Prime Ministerial pick at a meeting in Gandhinagar after he cast his vote today.
It said from the substance, tone and tenor of the address made by Modi and the statements made by him and the manner in which the symbol ‘Lotus’ was displayed by him, “the said address was in the nature of political speech intended and calculated to influence and affect the result of elections in the constituencies going to polls today, not only in Ahmadabad but also in all other constituencies in the state of Gujarat and elsewhere in the country.”
Congress had approached the EC today saying on his way out after casting his vote, Modi was campaigning for BJP and delivering speech in a fashion to canvas for his party, himself and also displayed the election symbol to the public.
Meanwhile, EC official also referred to an April 9 order issued by the poll panel which said that people cannot enter a polling station with caps, shawls and clothes bearing symbol of any political party.
It said section 130 of the Representation of the People Act prohibits any person from canvassing for votes or exhibit any notice or signs relating to the election within the polling station on the day of poll.
“In view of the above, it is further clarified that wearables like caps, shawl etc with political party’s name, symbol or slogan are not allowed inside the polling stations on the poll day. This may be adhered to in the counting centres on the counting day also,” the EC directive had said.
AAP says Modi habitual offender
Welcoming the FIR registered against Narendra Modi for violating the election law, the Aam Aadmi Party today called BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate a habitual offender who has been consistently violating poll norms and model code of conduct.
“Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP candidate from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, Narendra Modi has been consistently violating the election laws and the model code of conduct during the ongoing campaigning.
“The Election Commission’s direction to the Gujarat government for registration of an FIR against him on Wednesday is only an indication of the habitual offences being committed by Mr Modi and the BJP,” AAP said in a statement.
The party has already approached the EC for another alleged poll violation in Varanasi when Modi undertook a roadshow before filing his nomination from the temple town on April 24.
“The AAP, in its complaint, has also demanded that the EC should direct the Varanasi administration to add section 171E of the IPC in its FIR, which lays down punishment for bribing the voters.
The party has also brought to the EC’s notice the huge amount of money being spent by Modi and the BJP.
According to details collected by the AAP, the expenditure of Modi’s nomination day alone, including his chopper ride within Varanasi city, was close to Rs six crore,” the statement added.