EC must ban Modi for 48-72 hours for his roadshow in Gandhinagar, IED reference on polling day: Congress

Taking strong objection to PM’s remarks carried on various channels and other news outlets, the Congress called the PM a habitual offender for repeated violations of the Model Code of Conduct

PM Modi during a roadshow in Gandhinagar after casting his ballot during the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday\Twitter
PM Modi during a roadshow in Gandhinagar after casting his ballot during the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday\Twitter
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NH Web Desk

The Prime Minister must be banned from campaigning for "48-72 hours" in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections for taking out a roadshow in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat after casting his vote during the third phase on Tuesday, the Congress Party has demanded.

“The Prime Minister held a road-show procession in an open Jeep right after casting his vote in Booth No. 118 at Nishant High School in Ranip, Gujarat. The road show went from Balolnagar to Nishant School in Sabarmati Assembly segment of the Gandhi Nagar Lok Sabha,” Congress said in its memorandum, submitted to the Election Commission later in the day.

BJP President Amit Shah is contesting on BJP’s ticket from the seat, which has previously been held by veteran leader LK Advani.

Taking strong objection to PM's remarks that had been carried on various channels and other news outlets, the Congress called the PM a habitual offender for repeated violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

“The weapon of terrorism is IED, the strength of democracy is a voter ID. I can say with certainty that the voter ID is much, much more powerful than an IED, so we should understand the strength of our voter IDs,” Modi had remarked, triggering a charged debate on social media over the apparent violation of election law, which prohibits political campaigning starting 48 hours prior to the conclusion of the voting.

The controversial reference was made around the same time, noted Congress.

The complaint against the PM was lodged by a group of senior party leaders, comprising former union minister Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi and party's SC unit president K Raju, who later addressed the media at the EC headquarters.

"He is a habitual, egregious, completely uncaring offender, he doesn’t care for Election Commission. The Prime Minister of this country does not fall under the ninth schedule. He has no immunity from electoral laws, when he is campaigning," Singhvi said, flanked by former union minister Jairam Ramesh and Raju at the EC.

Congress urged the Election Commission to act against the PM without wasting any time, noting that action was yet to be taken on a previous complaint against Modi which had been lodged on April 12.

"There is no point taking 10 days before responding. We showed the Election Commission a video of the Prime Minister’s campaigning and violating Model Code of Conduct," said Singhvi.

"We had submitted another complaint against the Prime Minister for violating the Model Code of Conduct on April 12, for taking out a roadshow in Nanded in violation of the MCC," noted Singhvi.

"It has been eleven days since. The EC is yet to act on our previous complaint," he added.

Calling out the "double standards" of the Election Commission, the Congress leader pointed out that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had been barred from campaigning for 72 hours by the EC for his remarks at a rally in Meerut.

"While they acted against Mr Bisht (Yogi), there are yet to act against the PM, who violated the MCC on the same day," he said.

Singhvi highlighted the instances of repeated violation of the MCC by the BJP leaders during the ongoing elections, who he noted were blatantly soliciting for votes in the name of the Indian Army.

"While we were here at the Election Commission yesterday (on Monday) to make it take note of poll code violations of the BJP leaders, Amit Shah was campaigning and making speeches invoking the Pulwama terror attack and the martyrs," the lawyer-cum-MP said, adding that it was grossly immoral and against the law to “co-opt the achievements of the Indian Army” for political purposes.

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Published: 23 Apr 2019, 11:57 PM