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Congress goes to Election Commission over live telecast of Narendra Modi nomination

Friday, 25 April 2014 - 7:10am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

The Congress cried foul on Thursday when television channels aired live BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's Varanasi mega road show even as polling was on for 117 seats across the country.

The grand old party took its grouse to the Election Commission complaining that Modi's road show telecast in places where polls were being held was a "flagrant" violation of the election code. Modi's road show in Varanasi, where he filed his nomination papers, coincided with the sixth phase of election.

"We do not want just issuing of notice... We want action. An FIR should be registered against all BJP leaders involved including the candidate from Varanasi," said Union minister Anand Sharma.

Ironically, the Congress stayed mum when television channels aired a live telecast of its vice president Rahul Gandhi filing his nomination papers in Amethi on the same day that Tripura went to polls.

Sharma said that Thursday's election saw the second largest number of seats going to poll in a single day in the nine-phase polling. He said it was part of BJP's "well-planned" scheme to influence the voters in these constituencies where polling was on.

He asked "why was the EC not alert" to BJP's plan of an elaborate programme from 8am till 3pm, and why was the media not stopped from telecasting it in constituencies where polling was being held.

The BJP, which flaunted Modi's road show as an indication of the political mood, dubbed Congress' complaint as a reflection of its "defeatist" approach. "The Congress has lost all direction. It was the EC, which had decided on dates for filing nomination from April 17-24. We decided on April 24 and the television relayed it," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

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