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'There's distinction between Sonia and Modi cases'

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December 23, 2007 09:46 IST

There was a need for making a "distinction" between Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] in the observations on their violation of code of conduct, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said on Sunday.

"We felt there should be a difference. Can't go into the details of the discussions, but we felt there was a need for a slight distinction," he told NDTV, declining to give the reasons for doing so.

He was reacting to questions on the Commission warning Modi to be more cautious in the future in adhering to the Model Code of Conduct and certain carping comments passed against him, while in the case of Sonia, it just held that she had committed violation of the code.

He ruled out coming out with any explanation on the rulings, saying the Commission has given its final order.
Gopalaswami also said the Commission felt that in both cases there was no need for a stronger action.

As demonstrated in the case of BJP in UP, the Commission could have gone one step further and threatened withdrawal of recognition, he said, adding, "But in both cases (Modi and Sonia), we felt it didn't merit this treatment."

He said the three-member Commission was unanimous in its order in the two cases.

Justifying the five-day difference between the two days of polling, he said it could have been reduced by just one day and even that would also have put a lot of strain on the election machinery.

To a question on whether there was a need for giving more teeth to the EC, he said rather the political parties should live up to the Model Code of Conduct that they themselves have prepared.

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