The election commission (EC) on Thursday said defence minister Manohar Parrikar breached the model code of conduct by asking voters in Goa to accept money from other parties but vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The poll panel dismissed the minister’s submission that his speech was misconstrued.
The EC had earlier this month issued a notice to Parrikar for making the statement and had contested his claim that the CD with his speech was doctored.
Parrikar had responded by telling the commission that the translation of his speech, made in Konkani, was inaccurate and had offered to sit with the commission appointed language experts to hear the speech.
However, the commission after getting the speech examined by a Konkani language expert in addition to getting it translated by a three-member committee declared that the translation was not inaccurate.
The EC was examining a complaint against Parrikar, where during an election rally he said it was okay to accept money from other candidates to attend rallies, but they should cast votes only for the BJP.
“…You vote by taking two thousand rupees from someone. It is ok. Someone will hold a rally. There is no objection, if someone roams there with Rs 500. But, you will keep in mind that vote shall come to lotus only…,” Parrikar had said in the rally which the EC found objectionable.
The EC said leaders should ensure and promote sanctity of electoral process and asked Parrikar to be “more circumspect and careful in the future”.