“The Commission is of the view that by holding that meeting and also by addressing the same today when the polling is going on in the entire state of Gujarat and in different parts of the country, Narendra Modi has violated the provisions of Sections 126 (1)(a) and 126 (l)(b) of Representation of People Act, 1951.
“Therefore, the Commission directs…that complaint/ FIR as the case may be, should be filed against Narendra Modi and all others who were involved in the convening and holding of the said meeting…,” the EC order said in Delhi.
It has asked the Gujarat Chief Secretary and DGP to send a compliance report by 6 PM today. Modi triggered a controversy when he openly sought votes for BJP while holding aloft his party’s ‘Lotus’ symbol immediately after casting his ballot.
Congress quickly moved the Election Commission accusing him of blatant violation of model code of conduct.
In Delhi, responding to questions, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi asserted that Modi has “not violated the election code. It was not an organised press conference”.
She, however, went on to add, “the Election Commission is a Constitutional institution and we respect it. We will abide by its decision.”
Asked about the EC direction to the Gujarat government to file an FIR against Modi, she said, “we will address the issue”.
In its order, the EC also said that all the TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings of the meeting and displayed the election matter should also be proceeded against under Section 126 (l) (b) “by filing separate complaints/FlRs against those channels.”
According to the section 126 (1) (a) and (b), there is a prohibition of public meetings during period of 48 hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
It states that “no person shall: (a) convene, hold or attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election and (b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus.”