Accusing the Election Commission of impartiality and inaction, Narenda Modi, the BJP prime ministerial candidate, on Sunday said the poll panel had failed to check rigging and booth capturing during elections in states like Uttar Pradesh. “I have information that rigging has taken place at selected places. The EC has failed (in checking the rigging),” Mr. Modi said in Badohi.
Daring the EC to lodge another FIR against him if it thought his words violated its Model Code, Mr. Modi said he had nothing to lose and could happily go back to selling tea. “Duniya ko darana, Modi ko darane ki koshish matt karo. (You can scare the world. Don’t you dare try to scare Modi.) But I will not allow the violation of democracy,” he said in a frontal attack on the EC. Mr. Modi had earlier been pulled up by the EC for taking a selfie with the BJP's election symbol, a lotus, and then addressing the media after casting his vote at the polling booth in Ahmedabad on April 30.
Mr. Modi alleged that booths were captured at various places but the EC was silent on it. In a dual attack on the Samajwadi Party government for fostering unruly elements and the EC for failing to check these elements, Mr. Modi said “any stain on democracy will rub on the face of the EC," which is responsible for ensuring free and fair elections.
To protect citizens from this 'goondagardi' (hooliganism) during elections, security forces should be mobilized and supplemented with paramilitary forces, he later said at an election rally in Allahabad, where he was campaigning for the BJP candidates for the Allahabad and Phulpur seats. Mr. Modi also promised that if voted to power he would work to clean Parliament of criminal elements. “I will submit the affidavits of the MPs (declaring their criminal records) to the Supreme Court and request it to ensure that all these cases are solved within a year. Those (MPs) who are found guilty will be sent to jail. They will have to vacate their seats and re-election will be conducted.”
Mr. Modi also trained his guns at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, mocking him for his comments on poverty and visits to Dalit dwellings. Accusing Mr. Gandhi of treating poverty as an object of tourism, Mr. Modi said he visits the poor once a year just like people celebrate (gazatted) holidays or visit a tourist sight.”
While in Badohi, Mr. Modi promised to rejuvenate its moribund carpet industry, in Allahabad, he said under his rule the historical Allahabad University would attain global repute while the industrial area along the Yamuna would get a new lease of life. Allahabad, Phulpulr and Badohi go to the polls on May 7.