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Kejriwal replies to EC, denies violating model code

PTI  New Delhi, November 27, 2013
First Published: 23:27 IST(27/11/2013) | Last Updated: 02:12 IST(28/11/2013)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday submitted a voluminous 37-page reply to the election commission, denying having violated the Model Code of Conduct by distributing pamphlets and appealing to Muslims in Delhi for votes on religious grounds.

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In his reply, Kejriwal said he is not seeking any votes from Muslims on religious grounds and has thus not violated the model code.

In his long reply, Kejriwal has cited instances of the past when suimilar pamphlets were distributed by others which were not considered as a violation of the poll code.

Kejriwal, has instead accused the BJP of being a "communal party" and said its past record shows that and has cited several incidents of the past to substantiate his claim.

The AAP chief had sought two more days to reply to the EC notice, after he was issued one on November 20 after he distributed pamphlets asking Muslims to vote for AAP and was directed to reply by Wednesday morning.

"The Commission has prima facie observed that by distributing the pamphlet (seeking Muslim votes), you have violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.

"You are hereby called upon to explain by 11am on November 25 as to why action should not be initiated against you for the said violation," the EC notice said.

The notice to him follows a complaint filed by Harish Khurana, son of former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana, who objected to pamphlets being distributed by Kejriwal containing appeals to Muslim voters for their backing.

The pamphlet, whose objectionable parts EC has reproduced in its notice, purportedly has AAP saying that, "Delhi's Muslims should support AAP in the forthcoming polls.

"We (AAP) are not seeking votes for power or money but for rooting out corruption from the system and building a corruption-free India where people belonging to all religions can live in peace," the pamphlet said.

Kejriwal has appealed in the pamphlet that, "BJP is a communal party. Till now Muslims did not have any alternative, but now they have an honest alternative in the form of AAP."

"We appeal to Muslim voters of Delhi to back our endeavours for clean politics and not fall into the trap in which they have been falling for the past 65 years." The Model Code prohibits any such appeal before an election which invokes religion or caste for securing votes and says mosques, churches, temples or other places of worship shall not be used as a forum for election propaganda.

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