Goa 2017

Be more careful: EC to Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar addreses an election rally in Goa. File photo

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar addreses an election rally in Goa. File photo  

‘Leaders in high Constitutional positions expected to promote sanctity of electoral process’

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday asked Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to be more circumspect and careful while making any statement in future when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in place. The advisory pertains to allegations that he abetted the offence of bribery during a speech ahead of the Goa Assembly polls.

“All leaders, especially those who occupy high Constitutional positions, are expected to ensure and promote the sanctity of the electoral process. Public utterances by such persons, which even remotely give the indication of condoning the act of accepting bribe in connection with the election are not acceptable as it could amount to encouraging bribery in the election,” the Commission said, adding that apart from being an electoral offence, it was also a corrupt practice.

The Commission said it found Mr. Parrikar’s utterances at Chimbel in Goa on January 29 violated the norms.

Taking cognisance of the complaints lodged by the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, the EC issued a notice to Mr. Parrikar on February 1, seeking his response on his speech, in which he purportedly said he had no problem with people accepting money from other parties to attend their rallies, but they should vote for “lotus”.

The GFP’s complaint alleged that Mr. Parrikar had said that while others might give, “₹ 1,000 or ₹ 3,000, we will give ₹ 1,500 every month”.

In his letter to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Mr. Kejriwal sought a First Information Report (FIR) against Mr. Parrikar for allegedly abetting bribery. He appealed to the Commission to display the “same level of urgency and promptness” that it showed in getting an FIR registered against him.

Citing repeated violations, the EC had directed the registration of an FIR against Mr. Kejriwal for asking voters in Goa to accept money from other parties, but vote for the AAP.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 1:25:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-2017/ec-asks-defence-minister-manohar-parrikar-to-be-more-circumspect-in-future/article17313083.ece

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