EC directs Gujarat authorities to file FIR against Modi
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday directed Gujarat authorities to file a First Information Report (FIR) against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for waving party symbol lotus while addressing media.
"From the substance, tone and tenor of the address made by Sh. Modi and the statements made by him and the manner in which the symbol of 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 Ahmadabad but also in all other constituencies in the State of Guj arat andelsewhere in the country," the ECI said in a letter to the Chief Secretary of Gujarat and Director General of Police in the state.
The Commission said that Modi violated the Model Code of Conduct by holding the meeting and addressing the same on a day when the polling was going on in the entire state of Gujarat.
"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, Sh. Narendra Modi has violated the provisions of Sections 126 (1) (a) and 126 (l) (b) of R.P. Act 1951. 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)," the ECI said.
The ECI did not even spare the media channels which have telecast his press conference.
"The Commission further directs that all the TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings/images of the said meeting and display of election matter (as defined in section 126(3) of R.P. Act, 1951) on their channels should also be proceeded against under Section 126 (l) (b) filing separate complaints/FlRs against those channels," it said.
The Commission has asked the Gujarat authorities to furnish a compliance report by 6 pm on Wednesday.
The Election Commission earlier in the day sought a report from Ahmedabad District Collector and Returning Officer Roopwant Singh on Modi waving party symbol lotus while addressing media.
Modi is in fresh controversy after he waved party symbol lotus while addressing media after casting his ballots at Ranip under Gandhinagar constituency in Gujarat on Wednesday.
Opposition alleged that the waving of the lotus is a violation of model code of conduct. The Congress reportedly filed a complaint with the Election Commission for Modi's attempt to influence voters on poll day.
Modi waved the lotus symbol after voting and addressed media holding it in hand.
Congress leader Meem Afzal demanded cancellation of Modi's nomination from both seats (Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Vadodara in Gujarat).
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also raised a protest.
(Posted on 30-04-2014)