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Kejriwal says EC promoting graft by restraining him

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 24, 2017 17:06 IST
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A defiant Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday once again attacked the Election Commission accusing it of promoting corruption by restraining him from asking people to take money from his rival parties and vote for the Aam Aadmi Party.

‘EC fails to stop this. EC prevents me from saying -- ‘Take money from them n vote 4 us’. EC’s msg – ‘vote 4 those who give u money’ (sic),’ the Delhi chief minister tweeted.

Kejriwal was responding to a tweet by AAP leader Ashutosh on money allegedly being distributed to voters in Cumbaruja constituency in Goa.

Kejriwal also re-tweeted an AAP volunteer which said, ‘Why should we budge if we are right? When court has termed Arvind Kejriwal’s statement right, then why is the EC against it.’

When sought comments on the sidelines of an event, Election Commissioner A K Joti refused to respond to Kejriwal’s latest remarks but said, “The person concerned should also have thought on the statements made. Everybody is bound by rules and regulations.”

“In a democracy, there will be some people who will be speaking. You cannot stop everybody,” he said.

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said, “We are in the public domain. We will not comment on it.”

In a letter to Zaidi, Kejriwal had on Monday told the poll panel that his remarks were aimed to containing graft and sought a review of its order to allow him to repeat the comments.

Holding that the EC misinterpreted his comments, he also asked the poll panel to make him the brand ambassador to put an end to bribery in elections, alleging its order against him will encourage corruption.

On Saturday, Kejriwal was censured by the EC for his comment asking voters in Goa to take money from rival political parties, but vote only for AAP. The commission had also warned of strong action, including de-recognition of the AAP, if the Delhi chief minister repeated his comments.

Meanwhile, former CEC S Y Quraishi said that ‘casting aspersions’ on the EC will work against Kejriwal. Quraishi termed Kejriwal’s remarks as ‘loose’.

He, however, added that the AAP chief perhaps needs to ‘articulate’ his argument on bribery carefully.

He could be right to an extent, he said.

“These comments were certain extent he is right as well and that is why we are debating the issue. (On bribery) perhaps he has to articulate it carefully. But casting aspersions on the EC is something that is going to work against him,” Quraishi said.

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