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Poll code violation: TN orders inquiry on Rahul's interaction

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The government has ordered an inquiry on how a college here gave its approval for to interact with its students when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for elections is in force.

The top leader, in his interaction with students of the here on March 13, promised 33 per cent reservation in government jobs for women and answered several of their questions.

The of Collegiate Education, R Sarumathi directed a subordinate to inquire "immediately" on the matter and submit a report, sources told

In a communique (dated March 14) to the Regional Joint Director, Chennai Zone, the said in view of the Lok Sabha elections the MCC was in force and under such circumstances, sought to know "how permission was granted" by the college for the event.

Sources said Stella Maris is one of the 10 government aided colleges in Chennai. Such institutions are not only bound by State norms, but are also expected to follow the MCC.

According to the MCC, displayed in the Election Commission website, "use of educational institutions, including their grounds (whether government aided, private or government) for political campaigns and rallies is not allowed."

When contacted, the college authorities declined to say if any inquiry was conducted by collegiate department officials.

The also did not comment.

Committee K S Alagiri dubbed the inquiry move as an act of "vendetta," by the BJP-led government at the Centre through the AIADMK regime in unable to tolerate the positive response especially from the youth to the event.

Political leaders taking part in college functions has been in vogue for a long time, he said.

The decision to invite Gandhi was taken a few months ago by the students association of the college.

took part in the event only in his capacity as a and not as the Congress president, he claimed, adding "the Model Code of Conduct is not a bar to participate in such events as an "

When Tamil had said there was "no violation" of the MCC, what right does the Collegiate department have to pursue the matter, he asked.

"If the came forward to take steps against the reputed Stella Maris College, I would like to warn that it will lead to severe consequences," he said.

The Congress demanded withdrawal of the communication tasking an official to probe the matter.

In his interaction with the students, Gandhi had brought up the issue of the Rafale deal and reiterated his allegations about the pricing of the aircraft and the process.

To a question on his Robert Vadra, he had said the law must apply to everybody and not be applied selectively.

"I will be the first person to say it... investigate Robert Vadra, but also investigate Narendra Modi," he said.

Vadra is being probed in connection with a money laundering case related to purchase of assets abroad and a land case in Rajasthan's district.

Gandhi also questioned whether the could stand in a large audience and answer people's questions.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 22:15 IST