Under sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party over alleged inaction on complaints, the Election Commission on Monday sought a report from the chief secretary on a complaint pertaining to the use of the chief minister office email account to issue releases regarding election campaigns to the media.
“The EC has asked the officiating chief secretary P Mitra to submit a report on a complaint alleging that the official e-mail account was being used to issue press releases,” chief electoral officer Narender Chauhan told HT.
On Sunday, BJP spokesman Ganesh Dutt had held a press conference and distributed copies of the statements issued from the e-mail address of chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
Dutt had demanded the cancellation of the candidature of the CM’s wife and Congress’ Mandi candidate Pratibha Singh. He had alleged that Pratibha’s press notes, campaign pictures and tour programmes were being sent to the media through the official e-mail of the CM, and the CMO had become the centre of media management for the Congress. “Press notes of Mandi Lok Sabha member
Pratibha Singh and youth Congress chief Vikramaditya Singh were being sent from the e-mail address of Virbhadra Singh,” he added.
The BJP had often criticised the EC for “failing to act” on the complaints. So far, the BJP has filed more than 50 complaints of poll code violations against Congress leaders. “We will not let leaders of any political party malign the EC’s image. The EC is working to ensure that elections are held in a free and fair manner,” said Chauhan.
He added that he had asked the Mandi and Solan deputy commissioners to send videos of All-India Congress Committee vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s rallies on May 3.
Dutt had accused Raahul of violating Section 123 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the model code of conduct by making false statements against Anurag Thakur.