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HomeNationNarendra Modi intended to influence voters, says furious Election Commission

Narendra Modi intended to influence voters, says furious Election Commission

Moments after he voted, Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, tweeted a selfie of his ink-stained finger and emerged from a voting booth in Ahmedabad, flashing a cut-out of his party’s lotus symbol and addressed cheering crowds.

“I can say that this time nothing can save the mother-son government…a strong government will come to power,” said Mr. Modi, all dressed in white, promising the defeat of the incumbent Congress which is led by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

A police complaint or FIR (First Information Report) has been filed against Mr. Modi on the orders of the powerful Election Commission for his televised actions, which the election body said amounted to campaigning in a polling area, which is banned. “It is evident from Modi’s tone and tenor that he made a political speech. He intended, calculated to influence voting,” the Commission said, adding that it also wants television channels to be penalized.

“It was not an organized press conference,” said BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, referring to Mr. Modi’s speech. “We respect the Election Commission but Mr. Modi did not violate the code of conduct,” she added.

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed accused Mr. Modi of being “a serial offender.” His party had earlier objected to the release of the BJP manifesto on April 7, when voting in the nine-phase general election began.

89 parliamentary constituencies voted today. Among them was Vadodara, which is one of the two constituencies that Mr. Modi is running from. The other is Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, which votes on the final day of the election on May 12.

Mr. Modi has been placed by opinion polls as the front-runner for the country’s top job. Under him, the BJP is expected to get the most parliamentary seats, though forecasts differ on whether the party will get more than 272, which will allow it to form the government without bringing in more than the 25 parties that it already has as allies.

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