Did Rahul Gandhi's Interview Violate Rules? Footage Under Review Now

Did Rahul Gandhi's Interview Violate Rules? Footage Under Review Now


AHMEDABAD:  Election officials in Gujarat are going through Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi's television interviews to see if any legal provisions related to the poll code were violated by the channels which aired them, an official said today.

Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain said all the videos of Mr Gandhi's interviews telecast yesterday had been obtained.

"The Election Commission yesterday directed us to take action after screening the videos of the interviews to decide if there was any violation of legal provisions, as prescribed under section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of People Act," Mr Swain told reporters in Gandhinagar.

"Our officials acquired those videos today. The screening process has been initiated," he said.

A political storm broke out yesterday after some Gujarati news channels aired Rahul Gandhi's interviews on the eve of the second phase of the state Assembly elections, being held in Central and Northern Gujarat today. The interviews were telecast a day after campaigning came to an end.

Following a complaint by the BJP, the Election Commission issued a show cause notice to Rahul Gandhi for "prima facie" violating the provisions of the election law and the model code by granting interviews to the channels.

The Election Commission also directed the Gujarat CEO to lodge a police case or FIR against anyone found guilty of violating the legal provisions.

The Election Commission notice had said the TV interviews fell within the definition of "election matter" and violated the Act. "...By giving such interview and its display on TV channels on December 13, you have, prima facie, violated the...provisions of para 1 (4) of the Model Code of Conduct, Section 126 (1) (b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the Election Commission's lawful instructions in this regard," it had said.

After the notice to Mr Gandhi, the Congress today accused the Election Commission of being a "puppet" of the BJP for not acting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his alleged "roadshow" in Gujarat.

Prime Minister Modi violated the model code of conduct by holding a "roadshow" after voting in the Assembly polls, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged.

The Congress had also petitioned the Election Commission to take action against Prime Minister Modi for addressing an event organised by an industry body yesterday where he reportedly attacked the main opposition party.

A delegation of Congress leaders comprising Ashok Gehlot, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala had handed over a memorandum to the poll body, demanding strong action against PM Modi and other BJP leaders for allegedly addressing press conferences and events on the eve of last phase of polling in Gujarat.
Source: (ndtv.com)