The Election Commission has said that it has sought a report on the photographs in the media showing Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi entering a polling booth in Amethi during polling hours.
“We have asked for the video as well as the report of the Returning Officer. Once we get them, we would decide on what action to take,” Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath told presspersons here.
Mr. Sampath maintained that the commission took all allegations and grievances of candidates and political parties seriously. It took a view on them after taking inputs from all concerned.
Earlier, the BJP charged the commission with adopting “double standards,” and asked what action was taken against Mr. Gandhi for entering the EVM enclosure of polling booths in Amethi, though it had suo motu registered an FIR against the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, for addressing the press near a booth last week.
BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu told presspersons that the commission had not been acting in a “fair and neutral” manner as far as the party, particularly its prime ministerial candidate, was concerned. “There is an FIR against Modi, FIR against [TDP leader] Chandrababu Naidu, but no FIR against the Congress leader ... Because, the king can do no wrong, says an old saying,” he said.
Following the case against Mr. Modi, the BJP leader said, the commission sought a compliance report by the evening that day. “Here it is clear ... I brought to the notice of the Election Commission also when I met them [Commissioners] on the issue. Why double standards, why different yardsticks,” he said.
Mr. Naidu said a candidate was allowed to go to the EVM enclosure for verifying whether the machine was working or not before the commencement of polling. A set of people only — voters, a poll official or a technician — could enter the polling booth during voting and no one else.
The BJP cited the FIR filed against Chandrababu Naidu for alleged poll code violations as evidence of the EC being “soft” on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
The party has been petitioning the commission with complaints against booth capturing in U.P., West Bengal and Bihar.