The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday requested the Election Commission to pass directions either to remove or cover photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in offices of Central and state governments in Gujarat claiming their display violates the poll code as Modi is a star campaigner for the ruling BJP.
Assembly elections in Gujarat are scheduled to be held on December 1 and 5 in two phases for a total of 182 seats. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
Being declared a star campaigner for Bharatiya Janata Party, Modi's photographs in government offices are in violation of the Mode Code of Conduct, Gujarat secretary of AAP's legal cell, Puneet Juneja, stated.
In its representation to EC, the AAP said the photographs of a star campaigner of a political party in government offices may have an impact on elections. Therefore, in the interest of free and fair elections in the state, directions may be passed to either remove or properly cover PM Modi's photographs in all offices across the state.
Photos of PM Modi have been prominently placed in the offices of the state and Central governments frequented by people, it said.
"The effect of the photographs of the star campaigner of a political party in the government offices can have an influence on the elections, and therefore, the said directions may be immediately passed in the interest of free and fair elections in the state," stated the complaint.
The prime minister has been declared the star campaigner of the BJP and hence is promoting the prospects of the BJP, it said.
The AAP has positioned itself as the main challenger to the ruling BJP which is seeking a seventh straight term. The AAP has already announced the names of candidates on 178 seats.