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The Election Commission (EC) has directed the UP CEO to issue notices to candidates of three parties — BSP’s Ateeq Ahmad, SP’s Atul Garg and Peace Party’s Rakesh Valmiki — acting on a sting operation by a TV channel that purportedly showed them admitting to using unfair means during the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The EC, in its statement, said the three candidates were caught on camera allegedly speaking about bribing voters, hiding election expenses and planning to attempt booth capturing (in case of Rakesh Balmeeki).
The UP CEO has been directed to ask the District Election Officers (DEO) to take immediate action and file FIRs against them under the Representation of People Act, 1951. The candidates had breached the law under relevant provisions, i.e., section 171B/171 E relating to bribery at election, failure to maintain true and correct account of election expenses under section 77 of the RP Act, 1951, violation of MCC guidelines and booth capturing (in case of Rakesh Balmeeki) under section 135A of the said act.
The EC has directed the DEOs to intimate it against the action taken by February 25.