Narendra Modi today landed in a controversy when he displayed his party symbol 'Lotus' and addressed the media after casting his vote, with the Congress moving the EC against the move and demanding that the poll body file an FIR against him.
The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have alleged it to be a violation of election code of conduct and demanded that action be taken against the Gujarat Chief Minister. The BJP's prime ministerial candidate was seen displaying a replica of Lotus, the party symbol, during his interaction with the press, after he cast his ballot today in Ranip area of city. Earlier, he was seen taking a photograph of himself with the replica of the party symbol at the venue of his media address after he casted his vote.
In its complaint to the EC, K C Mittal, secretary, AICC legal department, said, it is "noticed from the live news telecast on various news channels that Modi went to the polling station at Gandhinagar to cast his vote. "And on his way out he was campaigning for BJP and delivering speech in a fashion to canvas for BJP, himself and also displayed the election symbol to the public while showing his finger for having cast his vote," the party said.
Mittal said Modi's speech and also the display of symbol was in violation of section 126 of Representation of People's Act (RPA) and therefore an FIR may be registered against him. Accusing Modi of violating the model code and committing an offence under RPA, Congress demanded immediate action against Modi. "He may also be disqualified for such blatant violation," he said.
Modi addressed the mediapersons outside the poll booth in Ranip area of the city immediately after casting his vote in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, from where veteran leader LK Advani is contesting. Modi also made an appeal to people to vote in the highest numbers and claimed that the next government will be formed by BJP and its alliance partners. AAP's state convener Sukhdev Patel said that his party will complain against Modi's gesture. "Modi is a senior politician. He should know his limits. But it has been his nature to flout rules and this is the example of it," Patel said. "We will complain against him highlighting that it is his nature not to follow the rules as he has appealed to voters through media by showing his party's symbol on the day of voting," Patel further said.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Arjun Modhvadia said, "We will seek action against him and demand his arrest for poll code violation." Modhvadia has blamed the Election Commission for not controlling the state administration. "Since beginning, we are drawing the attention of the Election Commission of India that Gujarat administration is not in control of EC," Modhvadia alleged.
Raising a question mark over Gujarat Election Office's intention, he said, "The way he was allowed to show his symbol, the way he was allowed to addressed the people via media, it puts the doubt on election machinery." "All are behaving like agents of Modi. All the key personnel are his agents," the Congress leader alleged while adding that they will raise the issue before the higher authorities.