Praful campaign cashes in on Modi

BJP goes to EC, says its PM nominee’s picture in NCP booklet violation of code.

Mumbai | Updated: April 5, 2014 3:25:52 am

In probably a first-of-its-kind case, the BJP Friday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission accusing Union minister and NCP candidate from Gondia-Bhandara Lok Sabha constituency Praful Patel of using Narendra Modi’s picture in his poll campaign.

State BJP’s election management committee chief Shrikant Bharatiya has written a letter to the Election Commission, alleging violation of model code of conduct by Patel who has used Modi’s images in a booklet published and circulated in his constituency.

Patel, the sitting MP from Gondia-Bhandara, is pitted against BJP’s Nana Patole for the Lok Sabha seat. BJP believes NCP leaders in the constituency are deliberately showcasing Patel and Modi together to encash its prime ministerial candidate’s popularity.

BJP also attacked the booklet, titled Vikasnama (progress report), which carries a picture of Patel and Modi seated together on a dais and talking and laughing. The other images show Patel with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and others.

“It has come to our knowledge and as seen from the booklet (Vikasnama) circulated by NCP in entire Gondia-Bhandara Lok Sabha constituency that Patel is trying to cause undue influence and thereby indulging in corrupt practices as defined under section 123 of the Representation of the People’s Act by using images of our prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi,” the BJP has written to the EC.

“The candidate (Praful Patel) is trying to given an impression as if there is an alliance between the two parties, which is factually incorrect. The BJP does not have any alliance with NCP,” the letter says.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Mulik dismissed BJP’s complaint as baseless. “Patel is a Union minister. There are occasions when he visits Gujarat or they could have been together at some meeting in Delhi. The booklet is a compilation of his work. The BJP appears to be overreacting on Modi. Why would our leaders need Modi in the campaign? Patel is a capable leader whose work speaks in public,” he said.

Earlier, BJP had complained against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena for using Modi’s posters and raising slogans in their campaign rallies in Maharashtra.

The EC had called MNS leader and warned him against using Modi’s posters in their rallies.

Modi can’t become PM: Pawar

PUNE: NCP chief Sharad Pawar said Friday that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi can never become the prime minister as he has failed to generate confidence among citizens of all religions.

“Gujarat under Modi has witnessed the maximum number of communal riots in the past few years. One who is hoping to become the prime minister should generate confidence among people of all religions. Modi cannot do so as he does not have respect for the common citizens,” Pawar said at a rally at Wai in Satara in support of party candidate Udayanraje Bhosale. “A person who has hurt the sentiments of public can never become the PM,” he said, adding that he was ready to debate with Modi on the development of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

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