Varanasi: FIR against Congress' Ajay Rai for wearing party symbol at polling booth
Varanasi: An FIR was today filed against Congress nominee Ajay Rai on the directive of the Election Commission for allegedly violating the election code of conduct by wearing the party poll symbol on his kurta while going to cast vote.
Senior police officials said the FIR against Rai has been lodged at the Sigra Police Station and section 126 and 130 of Representation of Peoples Act and section 171 (H) of IPC relating to poll code of conduct have been slapped against him.
The FIR was lodged against Rai shortly after Election Commission directed the district administration to do so after it analysed a report sent by Special Election Observer Praveen Kumar.
Early in the morning, Rai came along with his family members to cast his vote in Ramakant Nagar of Chetganj area, while wearing a badge of Congress election symbol 'hand' on his kurta.
BJP and AAP protested Rai's action. Hours later, the Special Election Observer sent a report to the Election Commission which asked the authorities here to file an FIR against Rai. Kumar said Rai violated provisions of Representation of Peoples Act relating to model code of conduct.
A senior police officer said the alleged violation by Rai took place between 8-8:30 am. Rai, however, defended his action. Referring to a similar case involving Narendra Modi, he claimed the case against him cannot be compared with that of the BJP leader.
On April 30, the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate had courted trouble after he flashed his party's symbol lotus while taking a "selfie", and made a speech after casting his vote in Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The EC had ordered filing of FIR against Modi also. Meanwhile, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi described the act as a minor issue though his party BJP took strong exception to it.
"It is not a big deal. Everyone takes their hand into the poll booth, should they cut it off?" he said.