EC orders filing of FIR against TV channels airing Rahul’s interview

Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

As Gujarat goes to poll on Thursday for the second phase Congress president elect Rahul Gandhi’s interview to TV channels has created a controversy. BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission citing it as a violation of code of conduct.

The EC said that after due deliberations has directed the chief electoral officer of Gujarat to initiate necessary action by filing FIR against those who have violated the above mentioned provisions in Phase 2 districts in Gujarat going to poll tomorrow, i.e., 14th December, 2017″.

The Election Commission also asked the TV channels “which are violating the provision of Section 126(1)(b) by displaying said election matter in Phase 2 districts in Gujarat to forthwith stop the display of such matter”.

Union minister Piyush Goyal told a press conference that the Election Commission should act following the interviews and claimed that the undercurrent which Gandhi said was present in Gujarat, will work against the Congress and the BJP will win over 150 seats in the 182-seat assembly.

“Congress is so scared and Rahul Gandhi is desperate to save his face. That is why he violated the Model Code of Conduct and gave interviews. We don’t think such interviews are allowed in the 48 hours prior to polls. We have never given such interviews,” Goyal said.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused BJP of using “EC as a tool for its political gains.” Addressing a press conference, he accused BJP of allegedly threatening journalists. “When Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi gave interviews to a few Gujarati news channels, BJP, in the name of Election Commission, threatened to jail the journalists of those channels for broadcasting it. We condemn this arrogant behavior of BJP,” he said.

BB Swain, Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat elections said, “We have got a complaint regarding telecast of an interview. We have collected the DVDs. We will be doing due examination & look into whether it has violated Rules 126 RP Act or not.” According to Representation of the People Act, 1951, section 126, public meetings are barred during the period of forty-eight hours before the elections.

Gandhi in an interview to  TV  channels said, “PM Modi was targeting Manmohan Singh while evading key issues concerning the people. This election is not about Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi. This is about the voice of Gujarat. They are not talking about real issues.”

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