The Election Commission on Wednesday sent a notice to Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and petroleum secretary RS Pandey to explain by Thursday why it should not act against them for suggesting that prices of oil products would be reduced after the elections next month.
The poll panel acted hours after it got a complaint from the BJP which accused Deora of violating the model code of conduct even as election process was on in five states. The conduct code is a set of guidelines the government, political parties and candidates have to follow during the times of elections.
The panel said Deora had said the prices would be reduced after the assembly elections, while Pandey said his ministry would seek the Cabinet’s approval next month for a rollback plan.
“The commission desires that your comments on the allegations made and the points raised therein as well as of the press reports with regard to the violation of the model code of conduct may kindly be sent to the commission urgently and latest by 3 p.m. tomorrow,” the EC notice to Deora said.
Reacting to the development, the minister told mediapersons, “I am upset over these reports. I would never do something knowingly. I have been in public life for 45 years ... I have fought nine elections (and) never been issued any notice before.”