Modi’s selfie kicks up controversy in India

BJP's prime minister aspirant Narendra Modi is in row after canvassing outside a voting booth in western Gujarat state.

    Modi’s selfie kicks up controversy in India
    Authorities have sought action against media that broadcast Modi's address while the voting was under way [AFP]

    India's Election Commission has sought a police case after claims that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi intended to "influence" voters by flashing his party symbol and addressing media outside the polling station.

    The election laws forbid campaigning within 100 metres of a polling area.

    Modi voted on Wednesday morning in Gujarat's Ahmedabad city where he flashed his party's 'lotus' symbol and later tweeted a selfie.

    "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's Act 1951," the commission said in its notice.

    "Therefore, the Commission directs...that complaint/ FIR (First Information Report) 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...," it said.

    The Commison's complaint also targets the electronic media, which showed Modi's address live when the voting was under way.

    The poll authorities held that the TV channels and other electronic media which carried the proceedings of the meeting and displayed the election matter near the polling station should also be proceeded against under Section 126 (l) (b) "by filing separate complaints/FlRs against those channels."

    The BJP's prime ministerial candidate after clicking a selfie also castigated the ruling Congress' Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi saying it was the time to end the "mother-son" government.

    The ruling Congress party had earlier filed a complaint with the Commission seeking strong action against Modi while the newly launched Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has sought action from the Commission.

    The electoral body has reportedly asked the Gujarat chief secretary and director general of police to take action against Modi and others for violation of the model code of conduct.

    The Gujarat administration is expected to file the compliance report after lodging the necessary complaints before the voting ends at 6pm.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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