Gujarat 2017

Narendra Modi ‘roadshow’ in Sabarmati: Looking into Congress charge, says Election Commission

Achal Kumar Joti

Achal Kumar Joti  

Poll panel chief Achal Kumar Joti refuses to respond to allegations of bias made by the Congress

Hours after the Congress levelled serious allegations against the Election Commission, poll panel chief Achal Kumar Joti on Thursday said the electoral body did not comment on the statements made by political parties.

Refusing to respond to the Congress’ charges, Mr. Joti told The Hindu that all such charges made by political parties were false.

“The allegations have been made by a political party…we don’t generally comment on the statements made by political parties,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Congress accused the Election Commission of acting as a BJP “puppet and frontal organisation” saying it did not act against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his “roadshow” in Gujarat’s Sabarmati during the second phase of polls.

When asked, the Commission told the media that it received a complaint on Mr. Modi’s alleged “roadshow” on Thursday afternoon and it was being examined.

The EC said the Congress had sought time and was supposed to meet its officials at 1 p.m. on Thursday, but no party representative turned up. Around 3 p.m., a delegation of BJP leaders — including Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi — met the Commission officials for an explanation on the same issue.

Around 9.30 p.m. on Wednesday, a Congress delegation submitted a memorandum to the EC demanding immediate action against the Prime Minister, BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Piyush Goyal and other BJP leaders for violating the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Mr. Jaitley released the party manifesto in Ahmedabad on December 8; Mr. Modi held four public meetings on December 9; and Mr. Shah addressed a press conference in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Taking cognisance of the allegations, the EC wrote to the Gujarat Chief Election Officer around 1.30 a.m. on Thursday, seeking a report. “The report was submitted around noon and it is being studied for further action, if required,” said an EC official.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 8:51:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/gujarat-2017/narendra-modi-roadshow-in-sabarmati-looking-into-congress-says-election-commission/article21665788.ece

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