At a time when an order of the Joint Commissioner of Police was in force prohibiting political leaders who are not voters of a constituency from being present in that constituency, Pune MP Girish Bapat, who is a voter from Kasbapeth, was observed accompanying Kothrud BJP candidate Chandrakant Patil while visiting various polling stations Monday.
On October 17, the Joint Commissioner of Police for Pune city, Dr Ravindra Shisve, issued an order based on the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI). The order read, “…political person or person related to a political party who is not a voter of a constituency is prohibited from being present or residing in that constituency. The order will be in force from 6 pm on October 19 till midnight of October 21.”
According to ECI guidelines, the rule is not applicable to candidates and persons authorised as polling agents of a political party. However, Bapat was observed accompanying Patil on multiple occasions when the latter visited the premises of a polling station in Kothrud constituency on Monday.
A senior police officer, who did not wish to be named, said, “We have not received any complaint about anyone violating the order prohibiting non-voter political leaders from being present in a constituency. If a complaint is received, cognizance will be taken.”
Despite multiple attempts, Bapat could not be reached for comment.
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