A first information report (FIR) was registered against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, on Election Commission orders for allegedly violating electoral laws by displaying the party’s lotus symbol after voting in Gandhinagar on Wednesday.
Mr. Modi has been booked for violating Sections 126 (1) (a) and 126 (1) (b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, Deputy Commissioner of Police Himanshu Shukla told The Hindu .
Section 126 (1) (a) prohibits holding of a public meeting or address in connection with an election and 126 (1) (b) bans displaying any election matter by means of cinematograph or television.
Around 8.30 a.m., Mr. Modi arrived at the Nishan secondary school polling booth in Gandhinagar. After he cast his vote, his car headed to a garden, separated from the polling station by a small lane.
As he began talking to the media, he held a lotus badge in his hand, displaying it prominently before the media along with his inked finger. He also posed with the lotus symbol for a “selfie.”
The Election Commission was of the view that this amounted to addressing a public meeting and displaying campaign material. It said Mr. Modi’s address was “intended to influence the result of elections” in constituencies going to the polls on Wednesday.
But Meenakshi Lekhi of the BJP insisted that Mr Modi had “not violated the election code. It was not an organised press conference.”
The police filed a case against channels that aired Mr. Modi’s press conference.