Rahul's interview: EC directs Gujarat CEO to initiate action against media channels

The Election Commission directed the Gujarat chief electoral officer to initiate action against media channels that telecast Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi's interview across poll-bound districts.

The commission directed the chief by filing an FIR for violation of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which mandates polling rules.
Acting on a complaint filed by the BJP, the poll panel held that the interview telecast by the channels "violated" the Model Code of Conduct on the day before the last phase of the elections on Thursday.
In a press note, the EC said, "such display falls within the definition of 'election matter' under section 126(3) of RPI, 1951, and display of such election matter within 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of the poll in the poll-going areas, amounts to a violation of section 126(3) of RPA, 1951."
The EC said the channels, which have violated the provisions of the RPA, 1951, have been told to stop the telecast of the interview "forthwith."
Reacting to the EC order, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said,"New norms for justice have been set by the ECI.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP leaders held a press conference in Ahmedabad to release manifesto on December 8, no FIR! Modi ji does four public meetings on December 9, no FIR. Amit Shahji does a press conference at Ahmedabad on Wednesday, no FIR. Rahulji's interview, FIR. Jai Ho."
The BJP said Rahul Gandhi turned so "desperate" fearing defeat in the Gujarat polls that he "violated" the Model Code of Conduct to give interviews to the media a day before the last phase of the elections.
Earlier in the day, Union minister Piyush Goyal said the Election Commission should act following these interviews.

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