The Trinamool Congress's complaint to the Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his "highly televised" Kedarnath visit was a violation of Model Code of Conduct, has prompted Union Minister Babul Supriyo's clarification in which he has compared PM's popularity with that of iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, saying media coverage depends on the importance of the person.
"TV channels should decide what they want to cover. If cricketer Sachin Tendulkar goes to vote and then decide to drive by himself to Pune then media will definitely cover it...It depends on the importance of a particular person on how much media covers him. TMC (Trinamool) should not behave like a crying baby," he said.
Senior Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien in a letter to the Election Commission said PM Modi's visit received massive coverage from national and local media, which was a gross violation of the election code of conduct.
"...Even though the Election Campaign for the last phase of polling for 2019 Lok Sabha is over as long as back on 17th May, 2019 at 6 pm, surprisingly Shri Narendra Modi's Kedarnath Yatra is being covered and widely televised for the last two days in all national as well as local media. This is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct," the letter read.
"He even announced that the Master Plan for the Kedarnath Temple is ready and also addressed the public and the media at Kedarnath. It is absolutely unethical and morally incorrect," the letter added.
In photos tweeted by the Uttarakhand BJP on Saturday, PM Modi, 68, is seen meditating in a cave seated on a bed and propped up by a pillow, dressed in saffron robes. Another picture shows him folding his hands and bowing in the cave.
The Election Commission had allowed PM Modi to visit the Himalayan shrines with a reminder that the Model Code was still in force.
With inputs from ANI