EC notice to Rahul Gandhi over TV interviews

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New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday shot off a notice to Congress President- elect Rahul Gandhi for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by giving election-related interviews to TV channels a day prior to the second phase polling in Gujarat, and asked him to respond by December 18.

“The Commission has received reports and complaints that on some TV channels interview given by you has been/is being displayed talking about elections to the legislative assembly of Gujarat, which are currently in progress,” the ECI said in its notice.

“By giving such interview and its display on TV channels on December 13, 2017, you have prima facie violated the provisions of Para(1)(4) of the MCC, Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and Election Commission’s lawful instructions in this regard,” it said.

The poll panel told Gandhi that the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Gujarat had reminded all political parties through a letter on December 11 that no matter related to election can be shown or displayed in theatres, TV channels or electronic media during 48 hours prior to the poll timing.

“The Election Commission hereby gives you an opportunity to explain by 5 p.m. on December 18, 2017 as to why action should not be taken against you for violating the MCC, failing which the Commission will decide the matter without any further reference to you,” the poll panel said in the notice.

The ECI has also instructed the Gujarat CEO to lodge FIR against the TV channels that telecast Rahul Gandhi’s interview.

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