AHMEDABAD/NEW DELHI- An FIR was lodged against Narendra Modi for violation of the model code of conduct after he displayed a lotus, the BJP's election symbol, before TV cameras and addressed a press conference on the premises of the school, where he cast his vote on Wednesday. He also snapped a selfie which was flashed on TV.
Along with Modi, TV channels too that telecast Modi's presser earned the Election Commission's (EC) wrath, which directed the chief secretary and DGP to file separate FIRs against all TV channels for falling foul with the Representation of People's Act that bans telecast of election issues while polling is on. Later, at a rally in Tirupati, Modi said it was the first FIR of his life and he would never forget the day. He lashed out at Congress, saying it was worried that "a person who once eked out his living by selling tea" was challenging it. "One can understand if someone points a knife, a pistol or a gun. But do you know why FIR was registered against me? Because I showed a lotus to the people," he said.
The FIR was lodged by the Ahmedabad crime branch after the EC wrote to the Gujarat chief secretary and director general of police after watching TV footage. "The tone and tenor of the address made by Modi, and the manner in which he displayed the lotus symbol, was intended and calculated to influence and affect the result of elections," the EC said. The violations by Modi, if proved, entail a fine and/or imprisonment of up to two years.