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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi files complaint against chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for poll code ‘violation’

Bordoloi filed complaint to chief election commissioner, alleging that Sarma, in public meeting in Lakhimpur during day, made promise to transfer Rs 10,000 to bank accounts of every ration cardholder after election

PTI Guwahati Published 11.04.24, 06:57 AM
Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma File picture

Congress MP and Lok Sabha poll candidate from Nagaon constituency in Assam, Pradyut Bordoloi, has filed a complaint against chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, alleging that he violated the model code of conduct by offering money to all ration cardholders during the ongoing election campaign.

Bordoloi filed the complaint to the chief election commissioner on Tuesday night, alleging that Sarma, in a public meeting in Lakhimpur during the day, made a promise to transfer Rs 10,000 to the bank accounts of every ration cardholder after the election.

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Stating that such assurances are a “clear violation” of model code of conduct, the Congress leader said: “Such promises are not only unethical but also an attempt to influence voters through financial inducements, thereby compromising the integrity of the electoral process”.

He urged the ECI to investigate the matter thoroughly and take appropriate action against the chief minister for his “misconduct”.

Bordoloi also filed another complaint with the chief electoral officer alleging that the BJP was continuing with the controversial socio-economic survey, for which a showcause notice has already been served to the ruling party.

“Despite receiving a showcause notice from the CEO on April 6 regarding electoral inducement, the government has continued to distribute forms for conducting a socio-economic survey, promising to include beneficiaries under the ‘Orunodoi’ cash direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme,” the Congress MP said.

Bordoloi claimed that such forms were being distributed in Ward No 1 of Matharboi of Barapujia Gaon Panchayat in Morigaon district on Tuesday.

“I fear that similar activities might be taking place in other locations as well. This blatant disregard for electoral norms and the misuse of government schemes for electoral gains is unacceptable,” he added.

The chief electoral officer’s (CEO) office on April 5 showcaused the ruling BJP over an allegation of violation of the model code of conduct, raised by the CPM.

The Left party had alleged that the BJP violated the model code of conduct by collecting data of people, on the pretext of conducting a socio-economic survey, with the intention of increasing the number of beneficiaries under a government scheme.

The notice, signed by the secretary of the election department, was issued to the president of the state BJP unit, seeking a response within 10am of April 8.

The CEO’s office said that while generic electoral promises are allowed, “specific surveys, form distribution and data collection make the design transactional and are in the nature of inducement of the electors”, which is a prohibited activity.

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