|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Pawar guilty of model code violation
September 21, 2005 20:40 IST
Last Updated: September 21, 2005 22:04 IST
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was found guilty of violation of the model code of conduct in poll-bound Bihar but was let off with a warning, Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon said on Wednesday.
"Pawar was indeed found guilty of violating the model code by promising reopening of closed sugar mills in Bihar after announcement of the election schedule. He was let off after a warning to be careful in the future, as he expressed regret and because he or his party did not have a history of habitually flouting the code," Tandon told reporters in Patna.
Tandon, who reviewed preparations for Bihar assembly elections, said, "On going through the CDs of a function addressed by Pawar at a sugar factory at Motipur in Muzaffarpur district the Election Commission found that there was a violation of the code.
But since he expressed regret for any statement that might have been made inadvertly which violated the code, we only asked him to take necessary precautions in the future," he said.
Referring to the notices served by the EC on Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his ministerial colleague Premchand Gupta, Tandon said, "The EC has received their replies within the stipulated time and they are under examination. We will soon take a view and pass an appropriate order."
The two ministers violated the code by travelling in Lalu Prasad's official vehicle to see the EC to seek rescheduling of poll dates.
On the National Democratic Alliance charge of model code violation by Lalu Prasad at Dumraon, where he reportedly addressed a public meeting beyond the permitted time, Tandon said the state chief electoral officer had received the reports from the returning officer as also the district returning officer which needed further clarifications.
The CEO has asked the district authorities to reply to the clarifications sought by him and said, "We will take a decision once the clarifications are received."
Moreover, a FIR has been filed at Dumraon for violation of the code on September 13 against RJD workers who had organised the meeting.
Replying to a query on the alleged summary disposal of the 'bribery' charges against Lalu who was shown on television channels distributing currency notes to some women during the February polls, Tandon said he was not not aware of it. "Once you have pointed it out to me, I will definitely look into it and take appropriate action," he said.