EC issues notice to Kejriwal over mohalla clinic promise at a rally
The Election Commission of India (ECI), on Thursday, issued a notice to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly violating the model code of conduct. Kejriwal has been asked to explain why he promised construction of mohalla clinics inside the Tis Hazari court premises when the model code of conduct is in force.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener made the announcement before a gathering of lawyers during the Maker Sakranti celebrations on January 13.
The ECI notice quoted the model code of conduct rules to say that the party in power cannot use its official position for the purpose of its election campaign. Rules prohibit ministers and other authorities from making promises such as construction of roads and provision of drinking water facilities from the time the elections are announced. “Whereas, the Commission of the opinion that by making the said promise you have violated the said provision of the Model Code of Conduct,” read the notice, issued on a complaint ECI received from Bharatiya JAnata Party, Delhi Pradesh.
In its bid for re-election, AAP has projected both government school education and mohalla clinics as its major achievements in the last five years. The BJP has contested AAP’s stand on improvement in Delhi’s education system and opening of 1,000 mohalla clinics every year.
In a related development, Tiwari also submitted a representation to the ECI on Thursday asking the poll watchdog to include expenditure incurred on Shaheen Bagh and other such protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the election expenses of the respective AAP candidate in whose area such protests are taking place.
BJP termed these protests as AAP’s proxy election campaign as the party leaders have come out in open to support the
anti-CAA agitations and urged the ECI to call for expenditure records of Delhi’s ruling party to know the “real intention behind the protests”.
“It is amply clear from the public statements of AAP leaders that they are openly supporting the protests and this is only with the end purpose of campaigning so as to improve the prospects of candidate belonging to AAP,” read the representation.
BJP has also asked for appointment of an independent election expenditure observer to enquire and verify the facts on the ground to take appropriate action. “An independent observer should also be nominated to keep an eye on the rapid pace at which the protests are spreading, as a result of irresponsible remarks by AAP leaders at these platforms,” the representation said.
The AAP did not respond to requests for comment on the issue.