Kulin Parekh (MeraNews, Rajkot): Congress leaders Vashram Sagathiya and Gajendrasinh Jhala have filed 17 complaints alleging violation of the model code of conduct by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Rajkot.

Sagathiya, the leader of the opposition in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, and Jhala on Saturday filed seven complaints regarding publicity material posted on streetlights; they had filed 10 the day before.

Sagathiya approached the Rajkot district collector, Vikrant Pandey, after cognizance of the complaints had not been taken for more than 24 hours. The Congress leaders had called the helpline number (1800-2332-4501), but were told that no election officer had been on duty and they would have to wait to get details on the status the complaints.

Sagathiya has also sought strict action against officials who he accused of dereliction of duty.

Pandey said he will not tolerate any callousness in election duty even if there is a shortage of staff. “Legal action will be taken against the poll officers who are found guilty and notices will be sent to them. Complaints regarding the code of conduct will be dealt with immediately and the errant officers will be fined,” he said.

The model code of conduct came into effect on Wednesday when the Election Commission of India (EC) announced that Gujarat will go to the polls on 9 and 14 December.