Congress asks EC to act against PM Modi for post-voting roadshow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is doing it for the third time: Congress

April 23, 2019 10:26 pm | Updated 10:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Abhishek Manu Singhvi. File photo: G. Ramakrishna

Abhishek Manu Singhvi. File photo: G. Ramakrishna

Terming it a violation of the model code of conduct, the Congress on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to take action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking out a roadshow and giving speeches after voting in Ahmedabad.

After submitting a memorandum to the Commission, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said this was the “third time” Mr. Modi had carried out such a roadshow after voting, having done so during the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. Campaigning during the 48 hours leading up to the end of polling in any polling area is not allowed under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the memorandum said.

He said the Congress had feared that Mr. Modi would carry out such a roadshow and the party had raised the issue with the EC on Monday in writing and sought preventive action.

“We have told the EC that he is a habitual, egregious and completely uncaring offender. He doesn’t care for the Election Commission ... The very credibility of the independent policeman of elections is at stake. We said there is no point in taking 10 days to decide. The EC should act within hours, restricting him from campaigning for 48-72 hours,” he told presspersons.

The Congress submitted another memorandum to the EC against BJP president Amit Shah for saying at a rally in West Bengal on Monday that Mr. Modi sent “his Air Force” to Pakistan, referring to the air strike at Balakot. The “dragging of the armed forces into cheap politics” was in violation of the EC rules, Mr. Singhvi said.

Earlier, at a press conference, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the party had repeatedly brought to the EC’s notice several complaints against Mr. Modi, but there had been no action against him.

“The Prime Minister is not above the law. There is one model code of conduct, not two,” he said.

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