Has PM Modi violated the Model Code of Conduct by using Govt vehicles during the campaign?

Has Prime Minister Modi violated the model code of conduct while campaigning in Gujarat? Here’s what activist and the MCC guidelines say

Congress Party’s approach in the recently conducted Gujarat Assembly elections has proved to be remarkable indeed. Rahul Gandhi brought young men like Jignesh Mevani, Alpesh Thakor, and Hardik Patel under its umbrella to contest against the BJP. Gandhi’s soft Hindutva has managed to send shivers down several BJP leaders’ spine. Thus, they are allegedly using all their resources to ensure their victory.

The Election Commission was quick to issue a notice to Congress President in waiting, Rahul Gandhi, for giving an interview to a television channel. The interaction was aired during the 48-hour ban for campaigning in the state. According to Times of India’s report, the EC also asked its officials to register an FIR against Gandhi if required. However, on the other hand, the same Election Commission has maintained stone-silence when it comes to looking at possible violations from the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who campaigned extensively before the polls in the state.

In the last part of Modi’s election campaign, his seaplane ride attracted a lot of ire. Experts claim it has violated protocols of SPG’s Blue Book and also probably overshoot the poll expense limit. Again, he irked the Congress with what opposition parties termed as a “road show” that the Prime Minister led in Ahmadabad after coming out of the polling station.

“The Election Commission should manage its constitutional responsibility and ensure fairness in the entire election process. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be fair and balanced in some cases.”

“I was district secretary, for MNS Thane and had organized few ST buses on rent to make travel arrangements for our party activists who were attending party chief Raj Thackeray’s meeting at the venue, Subhash Maidan, Kalyan. Anil Desai was Shiv Sena’s secretary back then, and he submitted a complaint against me alleging a violation of model code of conduct. The complaint was submitted to the then Kalyan-Dombivali commissioner Ramnath Sonawane, and a case was registered against me at Bazar Peth Police Station, Kalyan (Maharashtra) in October 2010. They claimed that using government’s vehicles is against the code of conduct. During this month, we have seen so many “possible” instances of violation of the model code of conduct involving the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but, the EC has maintained silence,” said Kalyan-based Irfan Shaikh, who is currently working as the state secretary for the MNS.

Related: Marathi version of Model Code of Conduct which states one cannot use Government vehicles for campaigning.

“I can point out one of them. Prime Minister used vehicle number DL9CAA7635 during his election campaign in Gujarat this month. The concerned vehicle is registered under Assistant Inspector General SPG’s name. Isn’t this violation of the EC’s Model Code of Conduct? Why is it that no case has been filed against him and why is the EC silent?” asked Shaikh while interacting with CJ24 Web News.

The Congress Party has approached the EC with the same concern, hope they keep a follow up on the issue, no matter whatever the assembly election results turn out to be.

 

 



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