Rai was seen wearing a replica of hand, the Congress party’s symbol, at the polling booth in Varanasi where he arrived this morning to cast his vote.

“I am carrying my party symbol in a "routine" manner…It is not a mistake. I am a Congress candidate and the symbol is on my I-card too. Definitely I was not informed as I use it usually during campaigning. This is normal and routine.  I am wearing it on my heart,” Rai told mediapersons.

Meanwhile, the state administration has sought a report on whether the Congress candidate violated the poll code.

"We have called for the CCTV footage of the polling booth and action will be taken after examining the same," Special Election Observer Praveen Kumar said here.
Kumar also said that flashing of election symbol at the booth is violation of Section 130 of the Representation of Peoples Act and a report will be sent after inquiry into this matter to the Chief Election Commissioner.
Modi had earlier courted similar controversy when he flashed the BJP’s symbol while interacting with the media after casting his vote in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat.

Meanwhile, the BJP and AAP have alleged it to be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and demanded that action be initiated against the Congress leader.

"In case of Narendra Modi, he was speaking to the media with a lotus symbol beyond a prohibited zone of 300-feet which is permissible. In case of Congress candidate in Kashi, he is inside the booth with a Congress symbol. Would the Election Commission take cognisance of it and take appropriate action or as in the case of Rahul Gandhi, who violated the model code of conduct by fiddling with a voting machine in Amethi, be let off on a fictitious basis? These are important issues," BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said in Delhi.

Another BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar called Rai's act as a "petty little issue".

"I don't want to give reaction on petty little issues. Let's see what the Election Commission does on the issue? Will Election Commission deal equally with all candidates or it goes soft on some people," Javadekar said.

Meanwhile, the voting is underway in 18 seats in the crucial last phase of Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh. The electoral fate of 328 candidates, including Modi, Kejriwal and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav will be decided in this phase.


Latest News from India News Desk