New Delhi, April 24:
The Congress Thursday demanded the Election Commission file an FIR against Narendra Modi and the BJP for “violating” the poll code by telecast and publicity of his road show ahead of filing nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi.
Demanding that the Bharatiya Janata Party be de-recognised as a political party, the Congress alleged that the poll panel’s “inaction” on its earlier complaint had provided the BJP with an opportunity “to flout the law”.
Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said a first information report (FIR) should be lodged against Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and the TV channels for violating the Model Code of Conduct.
“Sanctity of law and the electoral process has been violated. Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act says that no kind of publicity or demonstration can take place on a polling day,” Sharma said.
He claimed the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and workers violated the Model Code of Conduct by participating in a road show on the day polling was being held in 117 Lok Sabha constituencies in the country.
Sharma added the electronic media was equally at fault for telecasting the road show held before the filing of nomination papers.
“The Model Code of Conduct has been thrown to the winds. Why was the media not told it could not telecast such events live on a polling day?” Sharma said.
However, he clarified that the decision to proceed against the media could only be taken by the Election Commission.
The BJP dismissed the Congress contentions, and said the party was out of its mind.
“The Congress is out of its mind and needs some treatment,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
“Election Commission fixed the date for nomination. Should there be an FIR against Election Commission or on media? What is wrong in filing nomination on a day designated for filing nomination?” he said.
“Congress is unable to understand how to oppose BJP now, so they are talking nonsense,” he said.
In its complaint to the poll panel, the Congress said BJP leaders and workers were campaigning in constituencies which went to the polls Thursday and installed large screens at road crossings in these constituencies to telecast the road show and the process of filing nomination papers by Modi.
“The EC is aware that no such campaigning is permissible. The entire election process in all these 117 constituencies is totally vitiated and is contrary to provisions of the Representation of the People Act,” said the letter signed by K.C. Mittal, secretary, legal and human rights department of the Congress.
It said the Congress had earlier complained to the poll panel about the BJP releasing its manifesto on a day polling was being held in some constituencies in Assam but the poll panel did not take steps to implement the provisions in letter and spirit that prohibit campaigning 48 hours before voting.
“The inaction by the EC has given an opportunity to Modi and BJP to flout the law which has serious consequences,” Mittal said.
“FIR should be registered against Modi and other leaders of the BJP under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act for blatant violation of the law apart from derecognition of the BJP as a political party,” the Congress said.