The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly making communal remarks during an election campaign in Chhattisgarh.
Attacking the lone Muslim minister and Congress MLA Mohammad Akbar, Sarma had last week said that “the land of Maa (Mother) Kaushalya will get defiled if Akbar isn’t sent off as soon as possible”.
The ECI, in its notice, asked the BJP leader to respond by 5 pm on Monday as to why appropriate action for violation of the Model Code of Conduct should not be taken against him.
The poll body said that it received a complaint on October 19 from the Congress that Sarma, in a public meeting at Kawardha in Chhattisgarh on October 18, “allegedly made communally charged statements” against Akbar.
In the notice, the poll body said that after it announced elections in five states, the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates have come into force. The ECI found Sarma’s speech prima facie violative of the provision of the MCC and RP Act, 1951.
“…Clause 1 of Part I General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of Political Parties and Candidates’ provides that ‘No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic’,” the ECI order reads.
It also reminded Sarma that Clause 2 of Part I General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of Political Parties and Candidates’ provides that criticism of other political parties, when made, should be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work.
“Parties and Candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.”
With inputs from News18