Accusing Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan of indulging in “electoral malpractice”, the BJP on Monday asked the Election Commission to order a high-level inquiry into the issue and demanded that his election be declared as “invalid“.
BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who led a delegation to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla and submitted a memorandum to him, alleged that Chavan has violated People’s Representative Act by furnishing false information to EC and action should be taken against him under the Act.
“The Maharashtra Chief Minister has provided incorrect details of his election expenditure to the EC. He had spent more than what is allowed and submitted wrong details of his expenditure to the EC,” Mr. Naqvi told reporters here.
“The Commission should declare his election invalid and bar him from contesting elections,” he added.
The BJP leader alleged that Mr. Chavan spent crores to get full page coverage in several newspapers but showed a little over Rs 5,000 on print advertisement as per the records submitted to the returning officer.
Likewise, he also alleged that the Chief Minister spent crores on other election related expenditure but showed the expenses around Rs five to six lakh.
Mr. Naqvi said the EC has assured the delegation to look into the matter.
Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the full page advertisements came in the form of news items in several newspapers in the run up to the elections, praising Ashok Chavan, his leadership and his government.
“This is a serious issue and we expressed our serious concern over the matter with EC,” he said.
The party also raised the issue of a recent circular reportedly issued by the Election Commission in Jharkhand to gather information about the Muslim voters in every booth in the State.
“This a serious issue. It is against the principles of conducting free and fair elections in the State. We have asked the commission to issue a clarification today and take action against officials responsible for this,” Mr. Naqvi said.
He said the party also drew the attention of the EC to the laxity of Government to provide full-proof security to senior BJP leader L K Advani during his election tours in Jharkhand.
He alleged that during one of his election tours, Advani’s helicopter was made to move above naxal-hit areas in the State for over an hour because the “administration failed to provide the correct coordinates.”