EC notices to Lodha, 2 othersUpdated: Oct 19, 2019 00:35 IST
The election commission on Friday issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Malabar Hill candidate Mangal Prabhat Lodha, for allegedly making a communally charged speech during an election campaign rally, in violation of the election code of conduct.
Lodha made the controversial speech while campaigning for Pandurang Sakpal, Shiv Sena’s candidate from Mumbadevi, along with Shiv Sena leader Abhijeet Gurav, who had sought permission for organising the event. Vishwas Gujar, returning officer of Mumbadevi, has issued notices to all three of them. “It is a suo motu action taken by the election commission, based on Mangal Prabhat Lodha’s statements recorded in an English daily newspaper in Mumbai, on Thursday this week,”said Gurjar.
Gujar added, “While an explanation from Lodha is awaited, Sakpal and Gurav have sought extra time to reply to the notice, which can always be granted. Further decision will be taken only after getting replies from all parties concerned.”
“I have got a letter seeking clarification. I’ll have to hear the speech again and reply,” said Sapkal.
While Lodha was unavailable for comment, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “We will reply appropriately. There is nothing to worry about it, and we will go lawfully.”
Meanwhile, the election commission has also issued notice to Bandra-based Rizvi Springfield High School for allegedly distributing BJP’s Jansampark Abhiyaan forms among parents while carrying out voting awareness programme.
Asif Zakaria of the Congress, who is contesting from the constituency, submitted a complaint on Thursday.
Umesh Biraari, returning officer of Bandra West, said, “The Rizvi Springfield High School has responded to the notice. A decision on action, if any, will be taken after taking a detailed look at the reply.”