Declaring Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate is the internal affair of the party against which no proceedings can be set in motion before the court, the Madras High Court said on Tuesday.

The court was dismissing in limine a public interest litigation petition by Gowthama Sannah, an advocate and propaganda secretary of the VCK.

The petitioner’s case was that there was no such prime ministerial candidate’s post before the Lok Sabha election either in the Constitution or under the Representation of the People Act. To create confusion, Mr. Modi was calling himself the prime ministerial candidate and touring the country and canvassing for the BJP. The BJP has proposed to hold a public meeting at Vandalur near here on February 8 in which Mr. Modi is to speak. There is a likelihood of breach of peace. There will be a law and order problem.

The petitioner sought a court direction to the Election Commission (EC) to initiate proper action for violation of the law and the Model Code of Conduct of Lok Sabha Election rules. Mr. Modi addressing public meetings, including the proposed one at Vandalur, was unlawful.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice K. Ravichandrabaabu, said the petitioner had not only misconstrued the scope of a PIL, but also misdirected himself in filing the petition without having any legal grounds in support of his contention. The petitioner was the propaganda secretary of a party which would go to show that the object of filing the petition was not out of public interest, but as a political action or reaction. The EC had not yet notified the election to Parliament. When that being the factual position, the Bench wondered as to how the petitioner was entitled to contend that there was a violation of the code of conduct of the Lok Sabha Election Rules. Considering the facts and circumstances, the court said the petition had been filed only to gain publicity.

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