Congress complaint of model code violation by PM was anticipatory: Poll panel

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gujarat, B.B. Swain on Thursday said the Congress party’s complaint alleging violation of the poll code by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “anticipatory” as it had been filed before the incident actually took place.

Swain said the complaint would be looked into.

A total of 44 complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct was received by the CEO Gujarat on Thursday.

“The complaint by the Congress was filed at 11.51 a.m. before Prime Minister Modi even reached the polling booth. The complaint was filed that as a huge gathering was there at the venue, there was a possibility of a road show being held when Modi arrives. We have ordered the Model Code of Conduct team to look into the matter and the Ahmedabad collector will be reporting to us on it,” he said.

Swain failed to tell when the probe will be completed.

Modi, registered as a voter in Ranip area of Ahmedabad, exercised his right at the polling booth at Nishan Vidyalaya in Ranip region of the city. Afer casting his vote, he stood on the steps of his vehicle and carried out a road show for quite a distance, waving to the crowd and the gathering.

Swain said that till 2 p.m., an average of 47.40 per cent polling was carried out peacefully across the state. “We have received several complaints regarding Bluetooth connectivity inside polling booths at Ahmedabad, Panchmahals, Patan, Kheda, Banaskantha and Mehsana districts. Our engineers did not find any merit on such complaints,” said Swain.

CEO said there were two incidents of skirmishes reported, at Hasanpur in Visnagar, and in Savli. “But both these incidents did not have to do anything with the elections,” said Swain.

To a question if they had received any complaints that buttons of a particular party on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) could not be pressed, Swain said, “We have received several such complaints and the Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) was followed where our engineers and senior officials checked the complaints. We could not find merit in such complaints.”