The Election Commission has sought a report from the chief electoral officer of Gujarat on a “roadshow” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad Tuesday which the Congress alleged violated electoral law.
Briefing reporters on phase three of Lok Sabha elections, which concluded Tuesday, senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said, a report has been sought in this regard from the chief electoral officer of Gujarat.
Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act states that, “No person shall convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election … in any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in that polling area.”
Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar, responding to a question on BJP chief Amit Shah’s reported remarks on ‘Modi ji ki vayu sena’ made in West Bengal on Monday, said, “details have to be collected which will come in a day or two.”
An inquiry was ordered on Tuesday after the Congress alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi violated the model code of conduct by holding a “road show” and making political remarks after casting his vote.
PM Modi travelled in an open jeep to a polling centre in the Ranip area of Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning to cast his vote.
People lined up on both sides of the road as the jeep passed.
After casting the vote, PM Modi walked some distance away from the polling centre and spoke to the media.
After casting his vote, PM Modi told media that “the weapon of terrorism is IED, while the strength of democracy is voter ID”.
He said the voter ID was much more powerful than an IED and urged the people to understand the strength of their voter IDs and exercise their franchise.
Adding on, PM Modi said he was fortunate to have got the opportunity to fulfil his duty in his home state of Gujarat.
“Like you feel pure after a holy dip in Kumbh, one feels pure after casting vote in this festival of democracy,” he said.
Later in the day, the Congress moved the Election Commission (EC), alleging that Modi took out a “road show” after casting his vote and made political remarks in violation of the model code of conduct, and demanded that a campaign ban of 2-3 days be imposed on him for being an “uncaring offender”.
The opposition party also made a representation to the EC over the alleged model code of conduct violation by BJP chief Amit Shah and demanded a 72-hour campaign ban on him.
The Congress delegation comprising Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Jairam Ramesh and K Raju told the EC that Shah “openly raised Balakot air strikes, Pulwama attack and armed forces” while seeking votes in Krishnanagar, West Bengal.
Strongly raising the issue of the alleged violation of the model code of conduct by the PM, the Congress said, “Prime Minister is occupying a high post. The bigger the post, the bigger the responsibility. We have told the Election Commission that instead of caring about the responsibility, the Prime Minister is repeatedly violating the model code of conduct”.
(With agency inputs)