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EC notice to BJP candidate in Delhi

November 30, 2003 23:20 IST

In Delhi, the Election Commission has sought an explanation from Poonam Azad about the distribution of pamphlets in Tourism Ministry bags on Friday night in the Gole Market constituency where the BJP candidate is pitted against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The EC said that an inquiry following a complaint revealed that Tourism Ministry material was indeed distributed in the constituency. On Sunday, it sought an explanation from Poonam, wife of BJP MP Kirti Azad, within 24 hours. It has also issued a show cause notice to her party seeking an explanation within three days.

In the event of failure of the party to respond to the notice within the stipulated time, the Commission said, "It will be presumed that the party has nothing to say in the matter and the EC will take appropriate action or a decision without further reference to the party."

"This is absolutely false. I am regularly presenting details of all expenses taking place in my election campaign to the concerned  authorities," Azad said in a letter to the EC.

Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan said no official agency circulated ITDC bags in Gole Market and termed it as 'mischief' by political rivals. "These paper bags and the publicity material of the Ministry of Tourism are freely available at all ITDC counters, ASI monuments and tourism offices," Jagmohan said in Delhi. "Anybody can have these bags, free of cost," he added.

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