The Election Commission has issued a show cause notice to Uttar Pradesh transport minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati over violation of the model code of conduct in connection with seizure over 4,000 sarees that were allegedly meant to be distributed in Amethi during the assembly election.
The commission had directed Prajapati, who represents Amethi in the Vidhan Sabha, to submit a reply by January 23 or else strict action will be initiated against him.
Commission secretary Anuj Jaipuriar said, “With announcement of the assembly election schedule by the EC on January 4, the model code of conduct has been enforced in the state.”
The district election officer and the Fatehpur superintendent of police sent the Election Commission (EC) a report with a copy of an FIR registered against Gayatri and two of his associates on January 11 at a local police station.
According to the report, policemen seized 4,452 sarees from a Tata-407 vehicle during a check on the highway. Prajapati’s name was mentioned as the receiver of the goods on the receipt recovered from driver, it added.
During interrogation, the driver told police officers that the sarees were meant to be distributed during the soon to be held assembly election in Amethi and were to be delivered to Prajapati.
Citing the model code of conduct, which states that all parties and candidates shall avoid ‘corrupt practices’ and offences under the election law such as bribing of the voters, Jaipuriar said the seizure of sarees was prima-facie a serious violation.
Prajapati’s written reply should reach the EC by January 23 before 5pm, failing which it will be assumed that he has nothing to say in the matter and action as deemed fit will be initiated against him without further notice, Jaipuriar added.