Kanpur: Rahul Gandhi`s road show in Kanpur on Monday landed in a controversy with the district administration claiming that it had violated the election code by stretching beyond the allocated time and area.
"The district administration had allocated time till noon
and fixed a 20-km route for Rahul Gandhi`s road show. This was
done as today is Shivratri and there could be a traffic
problem," District Magistrate Hari Om said.
"But this roadshow completely violated the election code
of conduct as it started at 10.30 AM continued till 3 PM. It
did not stick to the prescribed route and instead covered a
stretch of 38 kms. Therefore, the organisers of the road show
will be booked for violating the election code," the DM said.
Asked whether the Congress General Secretary will also be
booked in the case, the official said they were still
discussing the matter. "It is possible that a case may be
filed against Rahul Gandhi. We have videographed the event and
are inquiring about it," the DM said.
Rahul`s roadshow was also shown black flags by youths
belonging to some Muslim groups in Baghai area of the
Cantonment. They were shouting slogans of `Rahul, Go back`.
However, state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who was
part of the roadshow, denied there was any violation of the
model code of conduct and accused the district administration
of trying to stop Rahul`s mass contact programme at the behest
of the Mayawati Government.
"The party has apprised the Election Commission about the
action of the district administration," she said.
Kanpur MP and Union Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal dared the
authorities to file an FIR against him. "I had invited Rahul
Gandhi for the roadshow. Let the authorities file an FIR
against me," he told reporters.
The DM claimed that the roadshow organisers had sought
permission for a 38-km stretch but they had been informed last
night about the conditions. "Still they violated the rules and
chose to follow the route for which permission had not been
granted," he said, adding, "There could have been a security
breach or there could have been a clash".
Joshi, however, countered that the detailed programme of
the Congress general secretary, including the route, was
handed over to the district administration by the district
unit well in advance and was also cleared by the SPG.
"The administration, however, revised the programme last
night and sent it to the SPG," she claimed.
She said that as the people had already been informed
about the entire programme, it was not possible to carry out
last minute changes.
"During the entire mass contact programme neither
Rahul Gandhi addressed a meeting, nor did he take out any
procession. Therefore, he has not violated the model conde of
conduct," the state Congress president claimed.
She alleged that the Mayawati government was "nervous and
shaken" after the "success" of Rahul`s roadshow in Lucknow.
Jaiswal said, "Rahul Gandhi has not violated any election
code. Was there curfew in the town, that he should not have
visited those areas?"
Rahul`s roadshow began at the Circuit House this morning
and crossed through all the five assembly segments here with
people standing on both sides of the roads to greet the
In Muslim-dominated Chunnigang area, people welcomed him
by showering flowers while the Congress leader garlanded an
Ambedkar statue in Bajaria area.
Kanpur will go to polls in the fifth phase of February 23.