Hours after BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi made a political speech, displaying his party’s symbol lotus, after having cast his vote, the Election Commission held him in violation of the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and directed the Gujarat government to file complaints or FIR against him and others involved in the political meeting.
Stating that it had “seen the video recording of the address” made by Modi at a meeting in Ahmedabad after he cast his vote on Wednesday in the morning, the EC said that “from the substance, tone and tenor of the address” made by him and the “manner in which the symbol Lotus of the BJP was being displayed by him at the said meet, thereby displaying to the public election matter by means of television in polling areas going to polls today it is evident that 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 Ahmedabad but also in all other constituencies in the State of Gujarat and elsewhere in the country”.
“The Commission is of the view that by holding that meeting and also by addressing the same today when the polling is 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,” the EC said in a communication to Gujarat Chief Secretary and Director General of Police.
“Therefore, the Commission directs under Article 324 of the Constitution and all other legal provisions enabling it in this behalf that complaints/ FIR as the case may be, should be filed against Sh. Narendra Modi and all Others who were involved in the convening and holding of the said meeting, under the provisions of Sections 126 (l) (a) and 126 (1) (b). Further, if any restrictions have been imposed by the competent authority in Ahmadabad under Section 144 of CrPC, then complaints/FlR should also be made under Section 188 of IPC,” the EC said.
Further, the EC has directed that all the TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings/images of the said meeting and display of election matter on their channels should also be proceeded against by filing separate complaints/FlRs against them.
The EC has asked the Gujarat government to send compliance reports on this matter latest by 6 pm today. It has also asked the Gujarat government to furnish copies of the complaints/FIRs along with the compliance reports.
Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal earlier told a news agency that his party has complained to the Central Election Commission, seeking immediate action by the commission.
The Congress leader said the party first sent a message to the commission, and soon after filed a written complaint.
Attacking Modi, Afzal said Modi is “arrogant” and considers himself “above law”.
“He is just tearing apart law… Modi thinks he is already the prime minister and perhaps above law,” Afzal said.
“But he forgets in this country even the prime minister is not above law,” he said.
As per the Election Commission norms, a candidate is liable to be booked for model code violation if he canvasses within a radius of 100 metres of a polling booth.
“Congress has accepted defeat as it is now saying that it will support the Third Front to keep me out of the (PM’s) race. The mother-son government is on its way out,” Modi said addressing journalists, who jostled for space.
“The Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and other senior ministers are not in the contest. Tall leaders of Congress are running away from elections,” he said.