BJP leader and former MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta has landed in trouble before the seventh phase of the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, with returning officer for Tikri and Udhampur-II DDC constituencies issuing him a notice and seeking his reply to a complaint of alleged violation of model code of conduct.
The complaint relates to a video on social media that shows Gupta purportedly making people take oath that they will vote for BJP candidates, and will make their family members, relatives and friends to do the same.
Udhampur-II and Tikri are among 31 DDC constituencies going to the polls on Wednesday.
The returning officer’s (RO) notice came on the basis of a letter from Additional Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar, who is also nodal officer for the model code of conduct in Udhampur district. In his letter, on Monday, Kumar asked the RO to verify the complaint and “take immediate appropriate action’’ under the DDC polls guidelines/instructions.
Kumar pointed out that the complaint, along with a video clip, was lodged by one “Krishan Singh (office secretary)’’ against ex-MLA and ex-MoS Pawan Gupta, which is “self-explanatory”.
When contacted, Returning Officer Akhtar Qazi said a notice has been issued to Gupta seeking his reply. Gupta said he was busy with campaigning and was yet to see the notice.
On Wednesday, UT’s State Election Commissioner K K Sharma said that 31 DDC constituencies going to the polls on Wednesday. There are 148 candidates, including 34 women, in 13 constituencies in the Valley, and 150 contestants, including 38 women, in 18 seats of Jammu division.
Apart from DDC polls, by-elections are also being held for 117 sarpanch and 1,270 panch vacancies on Wednesday.
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