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No bar in electoral law on PM Modi planning meditation trip ahead of last phase of Lok Sabha polls: Sources

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Modi was trying to 'circumvent' the silence period restrictions with his 48-hour meditation trip in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
Last Updated : 29 May 2024, 16:06 IST
Last Updated : 29 May 2024, 16:06 IST

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New Delhi: There is no bar under electoral law on the prime minister to undertake a meditation trip during elections, sources in the know said on Wednesday, amid the Congress' opposition to Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Kanyakumari's 'Dhyan Mandapam' from May 30.

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Modi was trying to 'circumvent' the silence period restrictions with his 48-hour meditation trip in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. It urged the Election Commission to ensure that the his meditation exercise is not aired by the media.

The sources in the know cited Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 which deals with prohibition of public meetings or propagating and displaying election matter to the public, during the operation of silence period.

Silence period begins 48 hours ahead of the conclusion of poll. Silence period for the last phase, in which Modi's constituency of Varanasi also goes for poll, begins at 6 PM on Thursday.

However, the provisions of the election law are not applicable in case of multi-phased elections -- when the polls are held on different dates -- if the content of election matter relates to subsequent phases and in no way, have any reference to the polling area under silence period, they said, citing a press note issued by EC last month.

So long as one does not talk about the locality where election is happening there is no bar, the sources underlined.

If there are no spoken words as reported, there seems to be no violation, they added.

Similar permission was given by the Commission to the PM during 2019 Lok Sabha polls when election was scheduled in Varanasi during last phase on May 19.

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Published 29 May 2024, 16:06 IST

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