The Election Commission (EC) has sought an explanation from Arun Yadav, former Union minister and the Congress candidate from Khandwa constituency in Madhya Pradesh, in a case of alleged violation of the model code of conduct. He has been asked to respond within 24 hours of receiving the EC notice.
The poll panel had received a complaint on May 3 that the Congress was distributing pamphlets to enroll potential beneficiaries of the party’s promised NYAY scheme in Khandwa, Burhanpur and Khargone districts of Madhya Pradesh. The minimum income guarantee scheme, which is part of the Congress’s election manifesto, promises to transfer Rs 72,000 annually to bank accounts of poor families.
The EC had asked the chief electoral officer of MP to look into the complaint. On inquiry, the EC found that pamphlets/forms bearing photographs of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Yadav were being distributed by one Sudhan Singh Thakur in Khandwa district. An FIR had already been registered in the case on May 5.
The notice quotes para (4) of part (1) of General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates, inter alias, provides as follows: “All parties and candidate shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are corrupt practices and offences under the Election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters.’
Holding that prima facie the act has been done by or on behalf of, and within the knowledge of, Yadav, the EC stated that after considering the available material and extant provisions of the model code it decided to give him “an opportunity to submit his explanation, if any…”
Yadav was not available for a comment.