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Poll code violation: EC lets off Assam CM with warning

Jorhat: Assam Chief Minister and NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma during a by-election campaign rally in support of BJP candidate Rupjyoti Kurmi from the Mariani constituency, in Jorhat district, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday asked Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to exercise restraint and adhere to the provisions of the model code of conduct while campaigning for the Assembly by-elections on October 30. 

The by-elections to five constituencies – Bhabanipur, Gossaigaon, Mariani, Tamulpur and Thowra – were necessitated by the death of two MLAs and the defection of three others to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Two of the turncoats are from Congress and one from All India United Democratic Front. 

Acting on two complaints by Congress, the ECI had on October 25 issued a notice to Mr Sarma asking him to file an explanation within 24 hours. The complaints listed a slew of poll promises the Chief Minister and sought a ban on him from campaigning.  

After the Chief Minister’s “unconditional apology”, the Commission said that he “acted in contravention” to the model code of conduct. 

“Therefore, the Commission issues a warning to him and cautions him to be more careful and exercise restraint in future and strictly follow the provisions of the model code of conduct while making public utterances,” the ECI order signed by Secretary N.T. Bhutia said.  

In his explanation, the Chief Minister denied the allegations made by Congress and said he did not make any fresh announcements. These had already been announced in the budget speeches of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscals. 

The bypolls will be held on October 30 and counting will take place on November 2.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 12:44:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/poll-code-violation-ec-lets-off-assam-cm-with-warning/article37185022.ece

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