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Election Commission gets cracking on errant politicians

The politicians are keeping the Election Commission on its toes. On Sunday, the EC reprimanded Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and issued notices to Home Minister P Chidambaram and BJP leader Jaswant Singh for poll code violations, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2009 01:01 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

The Election Commission doesn’t take a break on Sundays. It reprimanded Samajwadi chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, and issued notices to Union home minister P Chidamabaram and BJP leader Jaswant Singh for poll code violations.

The full EC, headed by Chief Election Commission N Gopalaswami, found Yadav’s reply to a notice issued to him last week unsatisfactory and advised him to be “more cautious and “exercise restrain”.

The commission had issued a notice to Yadav for threatening Dileep Ministhy, district magistrate of his Lok Sabha constituency Mainpuri, for confiscating firearms of his party workers.

The panel also sought an explanation from senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh for allegedly distributing money during a public meeting in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, where his son Manvendra Singh is a candidate.

The notice was issued on the basis of a report filed by Rajasthan’s Chief Electoral Officer Vinod Zutsi with a CD showing Singh distributing money.

A similar CD was telecast by most news channels last week.

Singh has been asked to reply by 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Singh has admitted giving money but claimed it was his duty to help the poor and it was not a violation of the model code of conduct.

The commission also sought explanation from Home Minister P. Chidambaram by Monday afternoon for allegedly offering poll sops during a security review meeting he took in Rajasthan. The notice was issued following a BJP allegation that Chidambaram, during an official visit to the State in the last week of March, had taken up electoral issues.

The complaint alleged the Home Minister talked about granting citizenship to displaced Hindus from Pakistan and additional facilities for passengers travelling by ‘Thar Express’.

First Published: Apr 06, 2009 00:52 IST