You could call it the Varun Gandhi effect.
In its attempt to prevent politicians from making communally charged speeches, the Election Commission has issued instructions to “video track” public functions of all prominent leaders.
The decision to record will lie with election observers, but the order covers leaders like Sonia Gandhi, LK Advani as well as some usual suspects.
“The video recording will help the commission decide whether the leader had violated the model code of conduct immediately,” a commission official explained, in reference to Varun’s case.
The EC had to depend on a report from the Pilibhit district magistrate to issue a showcause notice to Varun and the BJP for violation of the model code of conduct.
EC officials said observers have been told that past offenders like Bal Thackeray should be video-tracked throughout their campaign anywhere in the country.
“Special security arrangement will be made for the camera team so they can do their work without any hindrance,” an official said.
The central election observers will also have the power to stop a leader from delivering a speech, if the official believes that it can create law and order problem. Parties have been told to submit a list of leaders who wil be campaigning across the country.