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BJP to approach HC against misuse of Modi's image

Party is all set to file a writ petition requesting the court to direct EC to amend model code of conduct

To stop the misuse of prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi's name and image by other political parties — MNS and NCP — the BJP is all set to file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court, requesting it to direct the Election Commission (EC) to initiate necessary steps to stop this practice by making amendments to its model code of conduct.

Brand Modi: Followers of the BJP nominee wear his masks. BJP has complained of other parties using Modi to garner votes; NCP's Praful Patel also used Modi's picture in his manifesto. File pics
Brand Modi: Followers of the BJP nominee wear his masks. BJP has complained of other parties using Modi to garner votes; NCP's Praful Patel also used Modi's picture in his manifesto. File pics 

The saffron party has already written to the EC, alleging that many parties and even independent candidates are using the Modi brand to seek votes. "The EC has assured us that necessary action will be taken against the parties and candidates using Modiji's name in their campaigns.

However, there is no relevant section available in the current model code under which action can be taken for this. Hence, we are now requesting the EC to include it by making amendments in the model code of conduct," said, Shrikant Bharati, BJP's state election management committee chief.

When asked if the BJP has objections with the MNS using Modi's name in their ongoing campaigns, he said, "Not just MNS, but four days ago, NCP senior leader Praful Patel also published Modi's photograph in his election campaign manifesto. Till now, we have registered separate complaints against the MNS and the NCP to the EC."

"To build pressure on the EC, we will be approaching the High Court by filing a writ petition. In the 1977 Lok Sabha elections, two amendments were made to the model code by the then EC. Senior officials from the Commission said that in the history of Indian elections, this is the first case in which other political parties are banking on the image of another party," Bharati added.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray has openly said that he will be supporting Modi for the PM's post. In his recent rallies city, he appealed to voters to elect MNS candidates, who will in turn support Modi for PM.

On Tuesday, BJP party president Rajnath Singh, in a press conference, targeted MNS for using the Modi brand for their advantage, and said that if they really want to support Modi, then they should become a part of the NDA.

MNS, NCP respond
"In a democracy, every person has the right to decide who will be the PM of this country. So after getting elected, MNS' MPs will support a candidate for the PM's post. It is solely the party's decision and BJP shouldn't interfere in it. We have a right to share our future plans with voters, and as we appreciate Modi's development model in Gujarat, we are supporting Modi for the PM's post."

Regarding Praful Patel using Modi's photograph, NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakde, said, "We have to look at what context Patel has published Modi's picture. If it is for campaigning purposes, then it can be objectionable. But, I think it has appeared in another context. Prafulji has no need to seek votes in the name of Modi."

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