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Congress complains to EC over poll code violation by Assam minister


Guwahati, Oct 25: Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia has filed a complaint before the Chief Election Commissioner against Assam Minister Ashok Singhal for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct ahead of the by-polls in the state.

In a letter to the CEC, dated October 24, Saikia said Singhal had indulged in "unconstitutional activities" and appealed to the Election Commission to bar him from further campaigning in the upcoming by-polls in five constituencies.

"While participating in an election rally at Gossaigaon constituency, the Minister stated that there will be no development in the constituency if people do not vote for BJP in the by-election," the senior Congress leader said.

He also claimed in his letter that Singhal had said the construction work on a dyke would be started within two months after voting for the BJP candidate and making him victorious.

"On the other hand, he said that the work would not be carried out if people do not vote for BJP, asking people publicly to give with one hand and take with the other.

"Such remarks are very unfortunate because, under a democratic system, there is provision for equal development for all irrespective of race, religion and language. Actually, the voters are being blackmailed through such statements," Saikia said.

Instilling fear among voters and delivering threats for forcefully garnering votes are gross violations of Constitutional spirit and against Constitutional norms, and violates election Model Code of Conduct, he added.

"I, therefore, urge you to issue an order barring Ashok Singhal from campaigning in the election in light of his unconstitutional activities and violation of the Model Code of Conduct," Saikia wrote .

By-elections will take place in Thowra, Mariani, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur and Gossaigaon on October 30. The Majuli seat is also vacant, but a poll will not be held this time as its representative, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, resigned from the Assembly just hours after the poll schedule was announced by the Election Commission.

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