The Opposition Congress has requested the State Election Commission to cancel the nomination papers of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his filing of a “false” affidavit about his marital status.
Earlier, Vadodara Collector Vinod Rao had rejected the party’s plea saying it was only after a September 2003 verdict that filling all the columns in the disclosure affidavit became mandatory.
Controversy broke out after the chief minister, during submission of his nomination papers, filed an affidavit admitting for the first time that he was married to Jashodaben.
The Gujarat Congress wants the Election Commission to reject Modi’s nomination papers and also annul his Assembly membership as he had provided false information on earlier occasions.
During the Assembly elections in 2002, 2007 and 2012, Modi had left the spouse column blank while on Wednesday, for the first time, he revealed his marital status.
The Congress alleged that Modi had misled the people by providing false information. “We have appealed to the State Election Commission to consider rejecting his nomination papers since he had lied in his earlier affidavits,” said Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhvadiya.
Meanwhile Modi’s brother Somabhai Modi jumped to his defence saying that the issue should not be politicised.
He said: “Our parents had not studied much and we were a poor family. To them Narendra was like any other child. Our parents conducted his marriage at a tender age with Jashodaben, but it turned out to be just a social formality for the sake of it.
“Narendra, after leaving the house, had not kept any contact with the family,” he said.
His marriage was just a formality as he left the house soon after marriage. “Even Jashodaben has been living at her father’s home, working in the education sector,” Somabhai said.
Modi’s marriage conducted 45-50 years ago has to be seen in the background of a poor and traditionally orthodox family. Somabhai said that his younger brother had left the house and the family because he believed in the concept of “world is a family”.