Congress candidate for Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency, Narendra Ravat clicked a selfie of himself with his mobile phone holding Congress symbol in his left hand as soon as he emerged from polling booth in Nava Yard area in city Friday, an act that appeared to be a recreation of what PM Narendra Modi had done during the Lok Sabha election held on April 30, 2014.
Recreating Modi act, Ravat took selfie at around 9:45 am as he emerged from the election booth at Railway Colony in Nava Yard holding Congress symbol in his left hand and mobile in his right hand.
Ravat later told media that the selfie was a “symbolic protest” as he did not capture any photo of himself but acted like taking a selfie to send across the message of “angst and frustration” that the residents of Vadodara have been feeling after being affected by “man-made flood” in river Vishwamitri.
“The selfie act was a way to send across my voice and message of angst and frustration that people of Vadodara have been feeling since last few days after getting affected by flood in Vishwamitri river. I have only tried to convey to Modi and BJP how they have betrayed Barodians,” Ravat said, adding that he did not capture any photo on his mobile and neither did he post it on social media.
“Modi had clicked his picture and had even posted it on social media with the aim to promote himself. I have not broken any law by doing that,” he added. Ravat acted to capture his photograph on a Nokia mobile phone directing the front of the camera towards him, even when the mobile phone does not have any front camera.
Meanwhile, the District Election Officer (DEO) initiated inquiry into the matter at the instance of the Chief Election Officer. “We are carrying out an inquiry and the report will be submitted to the CEO and the Election Commission. Any action against Ravat, if at all he is found guilty of the matter, will be taken by CEO and the EC,” said DEO Avantika Singh.
Narendra Modi had captured his selfie outside a polling booth in Ahmedabad which attracted enough criticism from Congress and the matter was taken to the Chief Election Commission and an FIR was lodged by the state government for alleged violation of the code of conduct under the Representation of People Act as well as violation of the notification under section 188 of the IPC that prohibits campaigning within 100 metres of the booth and within 48 hours of polling. The crime branch of Ahmedabad police later gave him clean chit.
The city BJP unit remained unfazed by the act and said it was meant for self-promotion, adding that they were not going to lodge any complain against Ravat for the same. Calling it a “gimmick,” city BJP president Bharat Dangar said, . “We will see if we need to make any complaint, but so far we have decided to ignore it.”