Election Commission flags Modi’s visit to Pune during Council polls

With the impending elections to the Legislative Council and the model code of conduct being in force, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anticipated visit to Pune on November 13 has drawn the attention of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Mr. Modi is scheduled to attend the International Conference on Sugar to be held at the Vasantdada Sugar Institute in Manjari Budruk in Pune district. He is also expected to address a public gathering of BJP workers during his visit.

The Legislative Council elections are scheduled on November 19.

According to ECI sources, authorities had asked the PMO and the BJP to abide by the model code of conduct already in force, wherein the Prime Minister is expected to refrain from making any announcement that might influence voters.

The Election Returning Officer (ERO) has apparently sought clarification on whether permission could be granted for the Prime Minister’s public meeting after Pune District Collector Saurabh Rao’s directive to the district’s Local Authorities’ Constituency to strictly follow the poll code provisions. In his letter, the Collector has drawn the ERO’s attention to the provisions of the poll code, which entails that “Ministers, whether central or State (including the Chief Minister) can make a official visit to any district(s) in which any biennial/bye-election from a council constituency is being held subject to the condition that the visit shall not be combined with the election related work/tour.”

Earlier, Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and the district’s BJP unit chief Yogesh Gogawale too had sought permission from the Collector for the Prime Minister’s public address.

The ECI official said the poll body merely drew attention to the requirement that the code of conduct is not violated by making any announcements amounting to inducement of voters.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:07:59 PM |

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