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EC issues notice to Pawar
September 13, 2005 11:15 IST
Last Updated: September 13, 2005 12:45 IST
The Election Commission has served a notice on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for violating the model code of conduct in Bihar by reportedly announcing the opening of sick sugar mills and payment of arrears to cane farmers in the state.
Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon said on Tuesday that the EC had issued notice to the National Congress Party president, asking him to explain, by September 16, why action should not not be initiated against him for violation of the model code during a recent function.
Pawar had, on September 8, reportedly announced the reopening of closed and sick sugar mills in Bihar and payment of arrears to sugarcane growers within three months. He had made the announcement at a sugar factory at Motipur in Muzaffarpur district in the presence of union ministers Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Akhilesh Prasad Singh.
Tandon, who arrived in Patna on his way to Munger, Bhagalpur and Purnea to review preparedness for the Assembly elections, said after going through the reports and viewing the CDs of the event, it prima facie appeared that the minister had violated the model code.
The CEC is on his second visit to the state in a week to review the progress of poll-related works, including the provision of electoral photo i-cards and to go through the force deployment plans prepared by the state authorities.
He had earlier reviewed poll preparations in Gaya and Muzaffarpur, headquarters of Magadh and Tirhut divisions respectively, on September 7 and 8.