Maya handbag check: EC rejects BSP’s humiliation chargehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/maya-handbag-check-ec-rejects-bsps-humiliation-charge/

Maya handbag check: EC rejects BSP’s humiliation charge

The commission has said this in reply to a letter from BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra,complaining of humiliation and harassment by Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer and the officers who frisked Mayawati’s baggage twice.

The Election Commission has found that the officers who checked the handbag of BSP president Mayawati on April 27 at PWD helipad in Gulbarga area of Karnataka performed their duty with “utmost courtesy,politeness and impartiality”.

The commission has said this in reply to a letter from BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra,complaining of humiliation and harassment by Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer and the officers who frisked Mayawati’s baggage twice. Mishra had demanded action against all these officers to ensure fair polls. Mishra said he is dissatisfied with the EC reply and he is going to write another letter to the commission.

In his letter to Mishra,EC Principal Secretary Tapas Kumar has said the commission has seen the CD of the video recording of the checking. “The commission found that the officers performed their duty with utmost courtesy,politeness and impartiality,” Kumar stated.

About the objection raised over rechecking,Kumar stated,“During checking of the handbag of Ms. Mayawati,certain amount of cash was found in her possession and the officers were unable to complete the process of counting of that money. As the process was not complete,the officers had to repeat the checking for the second time at the venue of the meeting.”

Kumar also stated that when Mayawati gave the explanation that only Rs 50,000 out of Rs one lakh said to be in her possession belonged to her and the remaining amount belonged to party general secretary (SC Mishra),no seizure of the cash was done by the checking team. He has stated that strict checking by teams in the manner instructed by the commission has resulted in the seizure of cash of Rs 13.08 crore in Karnataka so far since the election process started and that the money would certainly have disturbed the level playing field and purity of election process. Polling in Karnataka is scheduled on May 5.

The EC principal secretary said leaders of all political parties were being checked in Karnataka as per the law,without any discrimination. About Mishra’s objection on some press statement of Karnataka CEO,EC stated that he only reacted to questions asked by the press and he had no malafide intention.

Talking to The Indian Express,Mishra said he was not satisfied with the EC reply and he was going to send another letter to the Commission,demanding action against the Karnakata Chief Electoral Officer and the other officer involved in frisking.

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Mishra said he had also sought clarification on the amount of cash allowed to be carried during the election. “My point is that president and general secretary of the political parties have to attend a number of public meeting in a day and they need to carry excess cash for routine expenditure on stay and transport. I will again seek clarification on it,” Mishra said.