GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Tuesday, submitted his written reply to the ECI (Election Commission of India) over his alleged violation of the code of conduct during campaigning for the upcoming bye-elections. Following a complaint lodged by the APCC (Assam Pradesh Congress Committee), the ECI has issued notice to Sarma for his alleged violation of code of conduct during the poll campaign.
Sarma has filed his reply to the CEO (Chief Electoral Officer), Assam, before 5 pm on Tuesday, which was forwarded to the ECI, said official sources.
Earlier, the ECI has issued the show-cause notice seeking his response by 5 pm on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Congress demanded the poll panel immediately bar him from further campaigning.
Citing the rules, EC Secretary NT Bhutia said that from the time the elections were announced, the Ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof or make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc.
"The Commission is of the view that by making the above statements, you have violated the said provision of Model Code of Conduct and the instructions. Now, therefore, the Commission gives you an opportunity to explain your position in this regard on or before 5 p.m. of Tuesday. If no explanation is submitted within the said time limit, the Commission shall take a decision without any further reference to you," the notice to Sarma said.
The poll panel said that notice was served to Sarma on Monday following separate complaints by the Assam State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia, that the Chief Minister, during the campaigns, promised the construction of medical colleges, roads, bridges, stadiums, development projects and financial grant to self-help groups of tea garden workers.
Meanwhile, the Congress said that Sarma being the constitutional head of the state is supposed to respect the model code of conduct.
The bye-elections will be held for five Assembly seats namely Bhabanipur, Mariani, Thawra, Tamulpur and Gossaigaon, on October 30.