Guj Cong Complains to EC Over BJP’s LS Election Meet at CM’s Home

Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S Murali Krishna ordered an inquiry into the matter.     

2 min read
The parliamentary meeting convened at Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s residence in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

The Gujarat Congress on Monday, 18 March alleged the BJP has violated the model code of conduct by holding a meeting of the party's State Parliamentary Board at Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's official residence, prompting the poll panel to order a probe.

The main opposition party lodged a complaint in this regard with the Election Commission (EC).

However, the BJP rejected the Congress's charge. On receiving the complaint, sent by the Congress through fax, Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S Murali Krishna ordered an inquiry into the matter.

"We have received the complaint. We will conduct an inquiry into the issue," Krishna told PTI. Krishna has directed Gandhinagar Collector to submit a detailed report on whether there was a breach of the model code of conduct.

In its complaint, the Congress alleged the CM's official residence in Gandhinagar is a government property and no political activity is permitted from a government premises when the model code of conduct is in force.

Defending the move of organising the three-day meeting, which began Sunday at the CM's official residence, Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani told reporters the gathering does not violate any rules.

“We have to also take care of the CM’s security. Arranging such meetings at CM’s residence is an old tradition. Party leaders are only doing brainstorming here. We have not arranged any political rally or engaged in any poll campaigning here.”
Jitu Vaghani, State BJP President, Gujarat

Polling for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in a single phase on 23 April. The model code of conduct came into force when the poll schedule was announced on 10 March.

The ruling party is holding a three-day meeting of the State Parliamentary Board at Rupani’s official residence to prepare a panel of probable candidates for all the 26 seats. The names, being shortlisted with help from state BJP observers and Rupani, will be sent to the Central Parliamentary Board which is likely to announce the final candidates after 25 March.

Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told The Quint that safety protocol is a pathetic excuse to counter the allegations levied against the BJP.

“If the state machinery cannot protect the CM in the state capital then how can the CM assure the safety and security of 6 crore Gujaratis living here.”     
Manish Doshi, Spokesperson, Gujarat Congress

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