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IIM- Ranchi convocation : FIR against Union Minister Jayant Sinha for violating model code

Jayant Sinha delivered speech at IIM Ranchi programme in which he allegedly made a vote appeal to students.

ranchi Updated: Mar 19, 2019 14:01 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
IIM Ranchi,IIM Ranchi convocation,Jayant Sinha
Union minister of state for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha addressing during the 8th convocation ceremony of Indian Institute of Management (IIM)- Ranchi(Diwakar Prasad/ Hindustan Times)

An FIR has been lodged against the union minister Jayant Sinha on Monday for allegedly violating model code of conduct (MCC), which came into force on March 10 for Lok Sabha polls, officials at district election office (DEO) said.

The union minister of state for civil aviation had reportedly violated MCC by delivering speech at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ranchi convocation held at Ram Dayal Munda auditorium, Khelgaon, on March 16. FIR was lodged against him at Khelgaon police station.

Ranchi deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer Rai Mahimapat Ray said, “We had received a complaint regarding his speech. We sought video recording of his speech from the IIM Ranchi. After analyzing it by video viewing team, a line of vote appeal was found, which violates model code of conduct.”

Ray said FIR against him was lodged under section-123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The section 123 (Corrupt Practices) says, “Any person whomsoever for himself or any other person for voting or refraining from voting, or inducing or attempting to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting, or any candidate 2[to withdraw or not to withdraw] his candidature.”

Additional chief electoral officer (ACEO), Vinay Kumar Choubey said that no central or state minister or political machinery could make official visit to a place where model code of conduct is effective as per the election rule. “They cannot convert their personal visit to an official visit. Delivering speech at IIM was an official visit,” he said.

Choubey further said IIM Ranchi had not taken permission for the event from district election officer in a period when model code of conduct was effective. “The election officer should also take action against the IIM Ranchi,” Choubey said.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Sunday appealed the election commission in writing to restrict Jayant Sinha from contesting polls as he had ‘violated’ model code of conduct by delivering the IIM Ranchi convocation address on March 16.

JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said, “During his 15-minute speech, Sinha congratulated the IIM-R [graduates] for three minutes, and the rest of the time, he delivered political speech detailing five years’ achievements of the nation and Jharkhand under BJP rule, while asking people to vote for the BJP and exhorting them to make a particular person the Prime Minister.”

The union minister could not be contacted for his version, as his aide said he was busy in meeting and he might give a comment on this on Tuesday. However, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said, “JMM has twisted the fact and placed it before the election commission. Since FIR has been filed, truth will come out. We believe the union minister has not made any violation of model code of conduct.”

EOM

First Published: Mar 19, 2019 14:01 IST