Congress today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a ‘political tour’, flouting the code of conduct, as he headed to the polls in the second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections in Ahmedabad. The big old party also questioned the “total silence and total inaction” of the Election Commission of India.
“The government, the party, the administration, the electoral machine, everything is united in Gujarat,” Congress leader Pawan Khera said today at a press conference.
Mr Khera said his party had made several representations to the electoral body at different levels, but it appeared the election watchdog was “deliberately under pressure”.
The Congress and other opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress objected to Prime Minister Modi’s grand entrance to the polling station to cheers from the crowd.
“The Prime Minister, who is going to vote in Ahmedabad, decides to do a 2.5 hour roadshow. Covered live by all your channels for free. Isn’t this an advertisement? You shouldn’t charge BJP? Why you do it for free?” Mr Khera said, adding that Congress would take “necessary action” and prevail over the Election Commission of India.
By all legal means possible, the party will ensure that such advertising falls under the party’s election expenses, said Pawan Khera.
Congress also referred to the incident where a Congressman from Gujarat who ‘disappeared’ last night, prompting an after midnight tweet from Rahul Gandhi, alleged this morning that he spent the night in a forest after being attacked with swords by a mob led by rival BJP.
Tribal candidate and incumbent Kanti Kharadi MP who is seeking re-election in Danta in the Banaskantha of Gujarat wrote to the electoral commission yesterday afternoon asking for additional security because he feared a threat to his life, Khera said, adding that in the evening he was “attacked by 24 people, gundas or the BJP”.
The Election Commission failed to give timely attention to his appeals, Congress alleged.
“I was attacked by the BJP candidate and 150 of his goons with swords around 9:30 p.m. They would have killed me, so I ran and hid in the jungle for three-four hours. Police found me after three-four hours,” Mr. Kharadi told NDTV.
Pawan Khera further said he also shared visuals of the BJP distributing alcohol in Gujarat, where the ban is in effect, with the electoral commission.
“Distributing alcohol openly and shamelessly with BJP logos on vehicles. They are not afraid. Government, party, administration, election machine, everything is together in Gujarat. Government logo of Gujarat should now be Kamal (lotus This is the situation of governance in Gujarat. This is the situation of the electoral machine in Gujarat,” he said.