The Election Commission of India has reprimanded states Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani for violation of model code of conduct and cautioned him to be careful in future.
The order cautioning the minister was issued on Friday on a complaint by Nathalal Sukhadia,a resident of Devalia taluka of Amreli district.
Sukhadia had complained that the minister had violated the model code by laying foundation stone for road works in Batarvadi area of Amreli Municipality on October 4,a day after the ECI announced the election schedule for Assembly elections in the state. The model code had come into force from October 3 itself.
ECI had also got the issue investigated by Amreli district collector. A video CD of the function submitted by the collector confirmed the allegations of Sukhadia.
However,Sanghani,in his reply to the commission on October 12,denied having laid the foundation. He stated he had only attended a public function organised by BJP in which neither any government officer participated nor any government expenditure was incurred.
He said he not violated the model code of conduct provisions and the complaint against him was frivolous and made with a malafide intention.
In its order,ECI secretary Harbans Singh said videos of the function and speeches of Sanghani at the function proved that the minister participated in the foundation laying ceremony and thereby violated the model code of conduct for the political parties and candidates.