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EC Issues Notice to Rahul Gandhi Over Interview to TV Channels

Rahul Gandhi had given interviews to news channels which were aired one day prior to the final phase of polling.

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The Election Commission on Wednesday, 13 December, directed the Gujarat Chief Election Officer BB Swain to file an FIR against channels in Gujarat that telecast Rahul Gandhi’s interview, one day prior to the final phase of polling in the state.

The EC has also issued notice to the Congress scion for interviews given by him to TV networks.

Explain why action should not be taken against you for violating provisions of Model Code of Conduct, failing which Commission will decide on the matter without any further reference to you.
EC to Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi had given interviews to news channels which were aired one day prior to the final phase of polling.
We have collected the DVDs and will be doing due examination to check whether it has violated Rules 126 RP Act or not. 
BB Swain, Gujarat Chief Election Officer

The Gujarat Congress has also reportedly filed a complaint against FICCI Chairman with the EC. A delegation led by Ashok Gehlot of Congress is scheduled to meet the EC later in the night.

Hitting out at Gandhi for giving an interview just a day ahead of the second phase of polling earlier, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said earlier that the Election Commission would take cognisance of it.

It was not permitted to give an interview in the last 48 hours of campaigning in Gujarat. I am sure the Election Commission will take cognisance of this and take action.
Piyush Goyal
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The Congress alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was threatening journalists in Gujarat for airing Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi’s interview, and urged the Election Commission (EC) to take notice of it.

Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said here that some journalists were receiving threats from high-level state BJP functionaries who were telling media persons that they would be jailed for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

For the record, in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also gave an interview to a channel a day prior to voting. If that was not violation of Model Code of Conduct, how could Rahul Gandhi’s interview be? We appeal to the Election Commission to take notice of it. It is for the EC to decide whether an action is a violation of Model Code of Conduct or not.
Randeep Surjewala
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The Congress leader also pointed out the BJP releasing its manifesto a day ahead of the first phase of polling in the state on 9 December.

The second phase polling in the state is scheduled for 14 December, and the results of the assembly polls will be declared on 18 December.

(With inputs from IANS)

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