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EC issues notice to Rahul Gandhi, orders FIR against TV channels for airing his interview

By Deepika
|

The Election Commission on Wednesday sought an explanation from Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi for appearing in interviews to television channels on eve of the second phase of voting in Gujarat.

Rahul Gandhi

In its notice, the commission asked Gandhi to reply by 5 pm on December 18, the day when the votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh - another state which went to the polls -- will be counted.

The EC also directed the Gujarat Chief Election Officer to register FIR against all the media houses which aired Congress president Rahul Gandhi's interview in alleged violation of the Representation of the People Act.

The action has been initiated under Section 126(1)(b) of the Act for airing the interview that falls within the definition of "election matter".

The Election Commission termed the telecast of interview as "display of election matter" in violation of the 48-hour ban in force for Phase-2 polling.

The TV channels which are violating the provisions of Section 126(1)(b) have been directed to stop airing the interview immediately, said the EC.

The BJP had filed three complaints with the Gujarat election commission claiming that Rahul's interview constitutes poll campaigning, which is not allowed 48 hours before the elections.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that interview is not permitted in the last 48 hours of campaigning in Gujarat.

The second round of polling will be held tomorrow. The first phase of voting in 89 assembly constituencies of Gujarat was held on Saturday.

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