EC imposes 3-year poll ban on MP minister who paid for media coverage
Mishra is considered number two in the Madhya Pradesh government and the decision is being seen as a big blow to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is battling a string of farmer suicides and crop protestsbhopal Updated: Jun 24, 2017 16:46 IST
The Election Commission banned on Saturday senior Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra from contesting elections for three years for allegedly using paid news to fan his assembly election campaign in 2008.
“As per law, Mishra stands disqualified from the date of issuance of order and debarred further for three years from contesting elections,” an Election Commission official said.
The EC decision came on a complaint by Rajendra Bharti, who had fought the 2008 elections as a BSP candidate, but is now with the Congress.
Mishra is considered number two in the state government and the decision is being seen as a big blow to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is battling a string of farmer suicides and crop protests.
Mishra said he would challenge the EC move in the high court. “I have said that I have not given any money to the media and media has said it has not taken any money from me. But despite this, if EC has taken a decision based on possibilities and imagination, we will move the court on this. And we hope we will get justice,” he said
Bharti had moved the EC saying that his opponent Mishra paid for coverage in the local media during assembly elections in 2008 from Datia. Bharti, a Congress leader, was the MLA from Datia in 1985 and 1998 but lost the election against the minister in 2008 and 2013.
Mishra had moved the state high court urging the court to quash the investigation against him by the EC by declaring the Section 10 of representation of people act outside the powers of ECI. But court rejected his plea.
Mishra , who is the public relations minister, is also the chief spokesperson of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. The Congress has demanded his resignation.
BJP state president Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan said it was an unfortunate development , terming the EC move ‘dooshit (polluted)’. He too said the party will appeal before the high court.
(with agency inputs)