Days after sitting Rajkot MP Kunvarji Bavaliya allegedly wore a Congress scarf around his neck when he cast his vote, the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday filed a criminal complaint against him on charges of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violation.
Parsottam Vekariya, who was the presiding officer of a polling booth at Vinchhiya for the April 30 Lok Sabha elections, lodged a police complaint against Bavaliya early on Sunday morning, following the order of district election officer and collector Rajendra Kumar.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Sunday, Kumar said, “On the day of the election, a man from Vadodara had complained that Bavaliya had campaigned for himself by entering the polling station wearing the Congress scarf. We had referred the matter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat and after a primary scrutiny, we found prima facie violation of rules, and hence ordered the FIR.”
The CEO said the EC saw much similarity between the way BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi flashed his party symbol after casting his vote in Ahmedabad and Bavaliya sporting a Congress scarf while casting his vote on April 30.
“The EC considered the flashing of the lotus as campaigning within 100-metre radius of a polling booth. It took the same view in case of Bavaliya,” the DEO further said, adding that the Rajkot rural police had also received a complaint in this regard.
Vinchhiya is a small town, about 90 km east of Rajkot city in the district. Bavaliya’s native village falls under Vinchhiya taluka and the politician has been registered as a voter in this small town. On the basis of Vekariya’s complaint, Vinchhiya police have booked the 59-year-old Bavaliya under Sections 130 (1)(e) of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951. “We have initiated investigation into the matter,” confirmed Vinchhiya PSI Rambahi Ram.
Incidentally, Modi is also under the police scanner, after the EC filed a criminal complaint against him. The Detection of Crime Branch of Ahmedabad city police are investigating those cases.
This is the second FIR against Bavaliya in three days. The president of Jasdan municipality in Rajkot district had filed a complaint against the
MP, alleging the Congress leader issued him death threats over the phone.