The state election commission (SEC) has asked deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to reply to allegations that he violated the model code of conduct on January 3, is the day the poll programme for the civic and zilla parishad elections was announced.
Two days ago, the Shiv Sena filed a complaint with the SEC, which then sought a report from the Pune civic commissioner, who is also local chief officer for the February 16 elections.
Sources in the election office said that the Pune officer’s report confirmed Pawar laid the foundation stone for a flyover in Shivajinagar, Pune, on January 3 at 7 pm – almost three hours after the programme was announced in Mumbai.
When the model code is in force, the government or elected representatives are barred from taking decisions that influence voters. “The function to lay the foundation stone took place in the evening, while the election code came into effect in the afternoon,” said the complaint filed by the Sena.
SEC Neela Satyanarayan, who said on Wednesday that the model code began immediately after the announcement, was not available for comment on Friday, because she was touring other parts of the state.
Pawar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.