The BJP on Friday requested the Election Commission to withdraw the FIR registered against its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for alleged violation of poll code. Explaining the sequence of events on the day Modi cast his vote and held a press meet, the BJP in its letter to the poll body said that the display of the election symbol by Modi was accidental and the interaction with the press impromptu.
Taking a jibe at the strict enforcement of rules by the EC, the letter added, “during the election process, it is well known that you need the permission of election authorities even for sneezing.” “If media equipment was thus allowed outside the booth, even ordinary citizens are attracted, not to speak of people in active politics, for whom the presence of media triggers a Pavlovian reflex. It is unethical on the part of the election functionaries not to have taken preventive steps but accuse the moths which get attracted to the flame,” the letter added.
“...We strongly feel that it is preposterous on the part of the Commission to use a sledge hammer to crack a nut, especially in the absence of the clear cut law on the subject. Section 126(1)(a) prohibits only public meetings and an interaction with a specified group and particularly sound bytes can by no stretch of imagination be designated as a public meeting, the BJP in its petition to the poll panel said.
Modi happened to have a lotus tie pin in his hand since he had dislodged it to maintain decorum while voting. He was caught unaware by the media soon after he cast his vote and the tie pin was visible since it had still not been restored to his lapel and he was waving his hands which is unavoidable while talking to the media.
The display was thus accidental and unintentional,” the BJP said in its letter to the EC.
The BJP washed its hand of the incident saying that the lapse was on the part of the local election authorities to have allowed audio- video equipment in the vicinity of the polling station, in which a celebrity was registered as a voter.
The BJP said that even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen had interacted with the media after casting their votes but no action was taken against them.