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Jaitley defends Modi, suggests EC may have acted in haste


New Delhi, May 1

BJP leader Arun Jaitley Thursday indirectly suggested that the Election Commission acted in haste when it asked for a police complaint to be be registered against Narendra Modi.

Jailtey, in a blog published Thursday, said all politicians interact with media after casting their vote.

Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley

“When constitutional institutions react in haste and even anger, they miss out the larger vision,” Jaitley wrote in the blog.

“Criminal law provisions are to be strictly construed. Their meaning can’t be stretched out. A public meeting is a public meeting, the media bite is not a public meeting. If media is to be prosecuted for displaying comments of politicians on a voting day, such a provision will fall foul of constitutional guarantee of free speech,” he said.

Modi was Wednesday booked for showing off his party symbol lotus close to a polling booth in Gandhinagar where he voted.

Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), complained this violated the Model Code of Conduct. On the urging of the poll panel, the Gujarat authorities filed a police complaint against Modi.