Modi act forces EC to withdraw notice to Rahul

Modi act forces EC to withdraw notice to Rahul

The Election Commission's dilemma over acting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for  reportedly flouting the model  code of conduct during Assembly polls in Gujarat finally led to the  withdrawal of  a notice it served to Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the same.

The EC had served a notice to  Rahul after some TV channels aired his interviews on Wednesday -   just a day before the second phase polling for the election of the Gujarat State Assembly was scheduled to be held.

This had prompted the Congress to lodge a  complaint with the EC over violation of the model  code of conduct by the prime minister himself.

The poll panel, however, did not act against the prime minister and rather late at night on Sunday withdrew the notice served to Rahul.

It also ordered setting up a committee to review the model code of conduct and Section 126 of the Representation of India Act, 1951, which was  reportedly flouted  by the Congress president.

"The commission is of the considered view that due to multi-fold expansion of digital and electronic media, the extant Model Code of Conduct, the Section 126 of the R P Act 1951 and other related provisions require revisiting to cater to the requirement and challenges of the present and emerging situations," the EC stated in an order issued late at night on Sunday.

Section 126 of the R P Act 1951, and Para 1 (4) of the Model Code of Conduct prohibits campaigning during the 48 hours before the scheduled conclusion of the polling. Canvassing within 100 meters of polling stations is also prohibited under the Para 1 (4) of the Model Code of Conduct.

The poll panel, however, noted that multiphase elections might result in a situation in which even when the 48-hour prohibition on campaigning would be in force in some areas, even when electioneering would be continuing in other areas.

Besides, due to advancement of communication technology and rise of social media, even an individual can broadcast or telecast "any election-related matter" from any corner of the world, which could be received by the people of any polling area within the 48 hours when prohibition on campaigning would be in force, the EC observed.

 

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