VADODRA (TIP): Narendra Modi broke silence over wife Jashodaben and mentioned her in his poll affidavit for the first time in 45 years of matrimonial alliance. Modi, who is fighting his fifth election from Gujarat, in his affidavit filed before Vadodara returning officer Vinod Rao on April 9, declared Jashodaben as his wife.
So far, in the four assembly elections that Modi has fought, the column on ‘spouse’ in his affidavits used to be blank. The BJP prime ministerial candidate filed his nomination for the Vadodara seat, which goes to polls on April 30. He is also contesting from Varanasi. Sources said the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951 mandates the declaration of assets and liabilities of the spouse of the candidate running for Parliament, failing which the candidate could be disqualified.
Returning Officer Rao’s office took 12 hours to release Modi’s affidavit, unusual for a candidate of his stature. Several meetings preceded the declaration. Hours before making public the affidavit, Rao, when asked about rules regarding declaring of spouses for candidates said, “I am not sure of the exact rules.
We will have to look up the references.” Jashodaben, who still writes her full name as Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi, 62, retired as a government school teacher and currently lives near Vadnagar, Modi’s hometown in Mehsana. In February last, she had told a newspaper in her first interview after Modi was declared BJP’s PM candidate – that she married him at the age of 17 and they lived together all of three months after which they parted ways amicably. Their marriage, however, was never annulled formally. The affidavit, which declares Modi’s annual income as Rs 4,54,095, has no income, PAN number or return details filed for spouse.