Acting tough, the Election Commission today directed the Gujarat administration to file a complaint or FIR against Narendra Modi for violating electoral laws by displaying BJP's election symbol and making a speech after casting his vote in Gandhinagar.
"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. "Therefore, the Commission directs...that complaint/ FIR as the case may be, should be filed against Narendra Modi and all others who were involved in the convening and holding of the said meeting...," the EC order said.
It has asked the Gujarat Chief Secretary and DGP to send a compliance report by 6 PM today. It also said that all the TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings of the meeting and displayed the election matter should also be proceeded against under Section 126 (l) (b) "by filing separate complaints/FlRs against those channels."
According to the section 126 (1) (a) and (b), there is a prohibition of public meetings during period of 48 hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll. It states that "no person shall: (a) convene, hold or attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election and (b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus."
The EC took the decision after going through the video recording of the address of the BJP's Prime Ministerial pick at a meeting in Gandhinagar after he cast his vote today. It said from the substance, tone and tenor of the address made by Modi and the statements made by him and the manner in which the symbol 'Lotus' was displayed by him, "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 Gujarat and elsewhere in the country."
Congress had approached the EC today saying on his way out after casting his vote, Modi was campaigning for BJP and delivering speech in a fashion to canvas for his party, himself and also displayed the election symbol to the public.
Meanwhile, EC official also referred to an April 9 order issued by the poll panel which said that people cannot enter a polling station with caps, shawls and clothes bearing symbol of any political party.
It said section 130 of the Representation of the People Act prohibits any person from canvassing for votes or exhibit any notice or signs relating to the election within the polling station on the day of poll.
"In view of the above, it is further clarified that wearables like caps, shawl etc with political party's name, symbol or slogan are not allowed inside the polling stations on the poll day. This may be adhered to in the counting centres on the counting day also," the EC directive had said.