Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik today claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sea-plane ride in Gujarat could result in the disqualification of many BJP candidates in the ongoing Assembly polls in that state as the money spent on it would be considered as their election expenditure. The prime minister today flew to the Dharoi dam from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad in a sea-plane, on the way to the Ambaji temple in Banaskantha district.
“Modi’s sea-plane ride may disqualify a number of BJP candidates of the districts concerned in Gujarat as such a ride is not exempted under the Representation of the People Act from the travel expenditure of a star campaigner, and it will have to be included in the election expenses of the respective BJP candidates,” Naik said.
This would lead to many of these candidates crossing their poll expenses limits, resulting in their disqualification, thanks to the prime minister, he added. “A sea-plane ride cannot be considered as ‘travel’ as per the election law,” the Congress leader said.
“Secondly, the ride has to be treated as an advertisement, which was not issued by the BJP so that it can be exempted,” Naik said, adding that hence, the BJP candidates concerned would have to account for it. Further, as Modi undertook the ride in place of a road- show, which the district administration did not allow, it amounted to violation of the model code, several provisions of the IPC and the Representation of the People Act, he said.