The Congress today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking out a road show and making political remarks at Gujarat's Ahmedabad in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, and demanded that the Election Commission impose a campaign ban of two-three days on him for being an "uncaring offender".
The Commission has already sought a report on the matter from the Chief Election Officer of Gujarat.
A delegation comprising party leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Jairam Ramesh and K Raju also told the Election Commission that BJP chief Amit Shah had violated the Model Code of Conduct by "openly invoking the Balakot air strikes, Pulwama attack and other issues involving the armed forces" while seeking votes in West Bengal's Krishnanagar. The opposition party has asked the poll body to impose a 72-hour campaign ban on him.
"The Prime Minister is occupying a high post. The bigger the post, the bigger the responsibility. We have told the Election Commission that instead of caring about his responsibility, the Prime Minister is repeatedly violating the Model Code of Conduct," news agency PTI quoted Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi as saying. "After casting his vote, the Prime Minister took out a long road show, delivered speeches and political statements."
The Congress delegation claimed that the Election Commission was duty-bound to take action on its complaint. "If this panel doesn't enforce what it commands uniformly and without fear or favour, then the sanctity of this Commission stands compromised. Such brazen violations call for immediate exercise of this commission's wide powers against the offenders," it said.
Mr Singhvi said that while the Election Commission did not act on earlier complaints against the Prime Minister, it did impose restrictions on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. "There cannot be double standards because the laws are same for everybody," he said, adding that both PM Modi and Amit Shah should be taken to task.
After casting his vote in Ahmedabad, PM Modi had told the gathered crowd that the voter ID was more powerful than the IED (impovised explosive device) used by terrorists. "Indian democracy presents an example before the world. While an IED (improvised explosive device) is the weapon of terrorists, the voter ID (identity) is the weapon and power of democracy," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)