The Election Commission on Friday decided to issue show cause notice to Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal for alleged poll code violation for his comments on imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh.
The Commission in its meeting decided to issue the notice to Mr. Jaiswal asking why action should not be initiated against him for his controversial comments, a senior Commission official told PTI.
Mr. Jaiswal had after casting his vote in Kanpur in the fifth phase of polling on Thursday said, “If Congress gets majority then it will form the government... In case we don’t get clear majority we sit in the opposition and I see no alternative but Governor’s rule.” The matter was discussed at the meeting of the Commission attended by Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and the two Election Commissioners V.S. Sampath and H.S. Brahma.
The EC acted on the BJP complaint made against Mr. Jaiswal on Thursday on his President’s Rule comments, which it termed as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and had asked the Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer to send the same to Delhi and procure the video of Mr. Jaiswal’s speech made in Kanpur.
UP CEO Umesh Sinha had told PTI, “A complaint from the BJP had been received here and the same has been forwarded to Election Commission in Delhi for further necessary action.”
Sources said the EC had also sought a report on the matter from the district magistrate of Kanpur, which has since been given.
Reacting sharply to Jaiswal’s remarks, BJP accused the Congress of treating the State like its fiefdom and dubbed the minister’s comments as “undemocratic and a threat to the voters”
BJP President Nitin Gadkari had also hit out at Mr. Jaiswal, saying, “He is issuing a threat to the voters that if you do not vote for the Congress we will bring President’s Rule. This (UP) is not Jaiswal’s fiefdom. This is a democratic country.
The BJP chief said the disrespect shown by ministers like Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma and now Mr. Jaiswal to the Election Commission is such that if the poll panel does not take strong and effective action, nobody will listen to it in future.