The Congress party Tuesday filed a complaint to the Returning Officer, alleging that the BJP violated the code of conduct rules by allowing their election agent to wear badges with the name, photo and symbol of the candidate inside a polling booth in Calangute, North Goa.
“We have filed a complaint with the returning officer. This is a violation of the rules and they need to act immediately,” Congress North Goa candidate Girish Chodankar told IndianExpress.com
A similar complaint was also filed by the Aam Aadmi Party candidate in South Goa, Elvis Gomes, alleging that the use of a saffron colour badge with the name of the candidate by election agents inside the polling booth was illegal and a violation of the rules. “We have filed a complaint and the South Goa Collector Ajit Roy has assured that the badges will be removed. This is a violation as the colour represents the party,” Gomes said.
In several polling stations across the two constituencies, BJP election agents were seen wearing badges, saffron in colour, with the name of the candidate. The agents, however, carried with them a letter issued by the Collector permitting the same under the election code of conduct rules.
South Goa Collector Ajit Roy told indianexpress.com that he has issued the order for removal of badges across the South Goa constituency. “Even though the badges do not have any photo or party symbol, they are saffron in colour and represent a political party. The Election Commission rules have to be followed not only in letter and but also in spirit.”
North Goa Collector, R Menaka told IndianExpress.com that action would be taken if there were any violation of rules. “We have received complaints where the badges had the party symbol and photo of the candidate. That is illegal and we have taken action. There is no issue with the badge having the name of the candidate,” she said. Asked if she would act on complaints filed by candidates, Menaka said she was yet to receive any complaint and would examine the matter thereafter.
Goa Chief Electoral Officer Kunal told IndianExpress.com that the election agents inside the booth were allowed to sport badges with the name of the candidate as long as the party logo and candidate’s picture were not displayed.