Gujarat: Congress says Modi’s ‘roadshow’ was a violation of model code, calls EC a ‘puppet’ of BJP
The poll panel, however, said it had not received any complaints against the prime minister.
The Election Commission on Thursday said it had not received any complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for violating the Model Code of Conduct. It gave a statement after the Congress accused Modi of violating the code by holding a “roadshow” soon after he cast his vote for the Gujarat Assembly elections in Ahmedabad.
The Opposition Party also called the Election Commission a “puppet” of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Election Commission pointed out that the prime minister commissioning the INS Kalvari submarine did not fall under the purview of the model code. Earlier in the day, the Congress had criticised the poll panel for allowing Modi to go ahead with the event on the day of the Gujarat elections.
The poll panel said a delegation of BJP members visited it on Thursday after a Congress delegation levelled allegations against the ruling party the night before. The Election Commission said it would consider the points raised and make a decision after due diligence.
Earlier on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti was acting as a “personal secretary” to Modi, while party leader Ashok Gehlot said the Election Commission was “working under pressure” from the Prime Minister’s Office.
After casting his vote in the second and final phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, Modi was seen waving to crowds and showing his inked finger on an open car. Supporters were also seen waving Bharatiya Janata Party flags and chanting slogans.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “There has not been a more blatant violation of the code of conduct on polling day.” He said the Election Commission was “sleeping on the job”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party responded to the Congress’ allegations by saying that the party was being petty in calling the Election Commission “names”.
The Congress’ claim of “double standards” comes after the Election Commission filed a First Information Report against a television channel that aired an interview of Congress President-designate Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, a day before polling. The Model Code of Conduct prohibits any activity that can be seen as an election campaign in the 48 hours before voting.
By Thursday evening, the Election Commission said it had received the Congress’ model code violation complaint, ANI reported. The state’s Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain said the complaint was “anticipatory in nature as there was a crowd there and this could be a roadshow”. Swain said the complaint was forwarded to the district electoral officer in Ahmedabad.