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After BJP's Complaint, EC Seeks Report on Rahul Gandhi’s Event in Chennai's Stella Maris College

In its complaint, the BJP youth wing said that the claims made by Gandhi, including the one wherein he accused Modi of being 'directly responsible for negotiating with Dassault Aviation on Rafale' are baseless.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:March 16, 2019, 7:50 PM IST
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After BJP's Complaint, EC Seeks Report on Rahul Gandhi’s Event in Chennai's Stella Maris College
Congress President Rahul Gandhi takes selfies with students at Stella Maris Women’s College after an interaction, in Chennai on Wednesday.
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Chennai: Acting on a complaint filed by the BJP Youth Wing, the Tamil Nadu Election Commission on Saturday asked the Chennai District Officer for a report on Stella Maris College’s decision to give permission for a political event addressed by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

The district officer is likely to submit a report on how the college gave permission for the March 13 event, in which Gandhi interacted with the students of Stella Maris College.

During the event, he promised 33 per cent reservation in government jobs for women. He also brought up the issue of the Rafale deal and reiterated his allegations about the pricing of the aircraft and the process.

In its complaint, the BJP youth wing had said that, “In chapter 12 of the current model code of conduct (MCC), the Election Commission has conditionally permitted usage of college and school grounds for holding ‘public meetings’ in view of scarcity of grounds for public meetings. This permission is only for using the grounds of educational institution for conducting political meetings. It does not permit organising the students of educational institutions to attend campaigning of political leaders.”

“Mr Rahul Gandhi and the college management have misused the privilege granted by the election commission by involving students in political activity. This is against the spirit of permission granted by the Election Commission,” the letter said.

In its complaint, the BJP youth wing said that the claims made by Gandhi, including the one wherein he accused Modi of being “directly responsible for negotiating with Dassault Aviation on Rafale” are baseless.

On Friday, Directorate of Collegiate Education, R Sarumathi, had asked the Chennai regional director to hold an inquiry and asked for a report on how permission was given for a political event in the college.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee said that Gandhi’s interaction with students from the college is not a violation of the model code of conduct as the event was planned months ago. The college students’ association had invited him as an MP and not as the Congress President, the committee said.

Other Congress leaders in the state also hoped that the chief electoral officer believed there was no violation in Gandhi’s interaction with the students.
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