THE ELECTION Commission (EC) on Thursday issued notice to former Haryana CM and Congress candidate Bhupinder Singh Hooda — contesting on a Congress ticket from Sonipat parliamentary constituency — for alleged violation of the model code of conduct after posters bearing his photos were found displayed at a village. Hooda has been asked to send his reply by 5 pm on Friday.
“Our field inspection team has informed the undersigned regarding poster/flex bearing party candidate name and picture displayed on locations at Badwasni village, Sonipat district. The flying squad has found it correct and got it removed from the location. You are hereby informed to showcause your position in this regard as to why action should not be initiated against you under section 171-H of IPC…In case you fail to reply to this notice, ex-parte action shall be taken against you,” the notice issued by the assistant returning officer read.
Hoardings, banners or any other publicity material cannot be displayed without prior permission or without due certification of the the concerned authorities when the model code of conduct is in place.
Talking to The Indian Express, Hooda however said, “I am not pasting posters on walls or poles. I have not seen the notice yet. Somebody must have pasted it. Who knows they themselves pasted it and then issued this notice. I’ll reply accordingly.”
In another development, the BJP’s Haryana unit also complained to the Election Commission against candidates who along with their parties have failed to publicly declare pendency of criminal cases or cases in which they have been convicted by way of publication within specific period, as required as per ECI instructions.
The party’s legal cell submitted the complaint with a list of 26 candidates, including those from Congress and INLD, to the state’s chief electoral officer, seeking immediate action.