Indian Express

Varanasi face-off, final round

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The ruling party’s petition to the Election Commission said the message, put up on Modi’s website and YouTube, was also “shown in the entire Varanasi constituency”. The ruling party’s petition to the Election Commission said the message, put up on Modi’s website and YouTube, was also “shown in the entire Varanasi constituency”.

The Congress has approached the Election Commission demanding “immediate action” against the BJP’s  prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for circulating a video message to voters while polling for the last phase of elections was on, including in Varanasi parliamentary constituency where he was contesting. The Congress said it violated electoral laws.

The ruling party’s petition to the Election Commission said the message, put up on Modi’s website and YouTube, was also “shown in the entire Varanasi constituency”.

“Narendra Modi who is the BJP candidate from Varanasi parliamentary constituency, where polling is going on today, uploaded on his website and Youtube…. ‘Modi Message for Voters for the final phase’. He tweeted this link… for circulation of his speech widely in Varanasi PC. His address to voters in Varanasi is a clear violation of provisions of RP Act and the model code of conduct,” the Congress complaint said.

“It has been informed that the same was shown in entire Varanasi constituency,” it said.

Congress legal department secretary K C Mittal said that social media is now within the ambit of the model code of conduct and Modi’s address to voters in Varanasi and other constituencies after the close of the campaign was a violation. “Modi not only violated the model code of conduct but also committed an offence under section 126 of The Represntation of the People Act,” Mittal said.

“How can channels show Modi’s speech in violation of the code of conduct? The Election Commission should take cognisance immediately,” Congress general secretary and head of its communications department Ajay Maken said.

At the AICC briefing, party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said the video, coupled with a blog post by Modi on Saturday after campaigning ended, show “frustration and desperation” in the BJP camp.

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