BJP leader Narendra Modi voted Wednesday but ran into objections after flashing his party’s election symbol at a press conference where he predicted an end to Congress rule.
Modi said the staggered Lok Sabha election set to end May 12 would lead to the Congress-led government’s ouster and its replacement by “a new and strong government”.
“After analysing the election process and the voter’s mind until now, I can say that this time nothing can save the ‘mother-son’ government,” Modi said, taking a dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and vice president Rahul Gandhi.
“A strong government will come to power,” he added after casting his vote at a polling station in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency where the BJP has fielded patriarch L.K. Advani.
The Gujarat chief minister also took a photograph of his inked finger and flashed a badge of the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s symbol “lotus”.
This triggered protests from both the Congress and the Aam Admi Party (AAP).
Congress leader Meem Afzal said his party had filed a complaint with the Election Commission for violation of the model code of conduct which prohibits display of election symbol near polling booths on voting day.
AAP’s Ashutosh tweeted: “How come Modi be allowed to hold a press conference with party symbol on voting day? Violation of EC guideline. Will EC react?
“BJP released manifesto on polling day. Modi did road show on (another) polling day, and now (displays) the party symbol. Will EC react?”
An unfazed Modi apologized to the voters in Gandhinagar for not being able to devote more time to the constituency.
Referring to the high voting across the country, he said this showed “that this elections will give the country new strength”.
“This is an election of hope. It will bring new trust and new strength to the nation. May 16th, there will be no confusions and message will be clear. It will be a strong government led by the BJP,” Modi said.
May 16 is when votes cast across India will be counted.
Before casting his vote, Modi urged “young friends” and all others to vote in record numbers.
He said he was “extremely lucky” and “fortunate” to be a voter in Advani’s constituency.
Gandhinagar is one of 89 Lok Sabha constituencies voting Wednesday in the eighth round of the staggered elections.
These 89 seats are spread over seven states and two union territories.
Modi is contesting from two Lok Sabha constituencies: Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.—————-IANS