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Mamata questions CEC's selection process after PM Modi's Gujarat roadshow on poll day

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Kolkata airport before leaving for Delhi. (PTI) (HT_PRINT)Premium
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Kolkata airport before leaving for Delhi. (PTI) (HT_PRINT)

  • After getting out of the polling station at Nishan High School in the Ranip area of Ahmedabad city at around 9.30 am, PM Modi then walked out of the polling booth and showed his inked finger to the crowd that gathered to welcome him, that became a political issue.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a long walk to the polling booth to cast his vote in Ahmedabad, which violated the Model Code of Conduct, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 5 December took a swipe at the prime minister and other BJP leaders, saying they are “VVIPs" and "can do anything" with impunity, reported news agency ANI.

“Roadshow is not permitted on the day of voting but Prime Minister Modi and his party are VVIPs, they can do anything and they will be excused," ANI quoted Trinamool Congress supremo as saying.

Apart from this, Mamata also raised the point of selecting the Chief Election Commissioner via a process and cited Supreme Court. Her comments on PM Modi's roadshow arrived hours as the later was seen waving at the spectators during the second phase of Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022.

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Even the Congress raised objections on PM Modi's roadshow. Congress's national spokesperson Pawan Khera said in a video statement that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has maintained silence over frequent violations of MCC by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the assembly elections, quoted HT.

“The way Election Commission has been silenced is a wake-up call for democracy," Khera said, adding, the party is mulling over legal aspects to bring PM Modi's “roadshow" under the definition of advertisement.

"The PM who goes to give his vote in Ahmedabad for over 2.5 hours was telecasted live by all news channels free of cost. Shouldn't you be charging the BJP? Why are you doing it for free? We will take necessary steps to prevail upon the ECI through whatever legal means possible to ensure that such publicity comes under the purview of the Election expenditures of the party who forces to run the roadshow live even when the election is underway," Khera added.

However, reacting on the complaint filed by Congress, Additional CEO said, “Congress party complained about PM walking to booth, we asked for an immediate report from the election officer in Ahmedabad. As per the report it doesn't get established that it was a roadshow and crowd was there on its own."

Meanwhile, defending PM Modi's roadshow, BJP spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said, “The PM's cavalcade was parked a little further from the polling booth and the PM walked up to the polling booth to cast his vote and this is the exact provocation that Pawan Khera is talking about. It is not a roadshow or anything of any kind. What would you do as a citizen? You won't drive inside the polling booth with your vehicle, will you?"

Earlier in the day, PM Modi arrived at a polling station at Nishan High School in the Ranip area of Ahmedabad city at around 9.30 am to exercise his voting rights. He then walked out of the polling booth and showed his inked finger to the crowd that gathered to welcome him.

With agency inputs. 

 

 

 

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