An FIR was filed against sitting MP from Ratlam and senior Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria and Madhya Pradesh cabinet minister Surendra Singh Honey Baghel for campaigning on Saturday after the end of the Friday 5pm deadline. Ratlam is one of the eight Lok Sabha seats in the state which will go to polls on May 19.
Alirajpur Kotwali police station in charge Dinesh Solanki said a case was registered under the IPC and The Representation of The People Act for violation of model code of conduct, in force since March 10, based on the inquiry report of the district election officer. Baghel is an MLA from Kukshi in Dhar district and is also tourism minister in the Kamal Nath government.
Baghel, in contravention of rules, continued to stay in Alirajpur even after the campaign ended. As per EC rules, political functionaries/party workers – who have been brought from outside the constituency or are not listed as voters there – have to leave the constituency concerned after the campaign period is over.
Apart from Bhuria and Baghel, the FIR also names Alirajpur MLA Mukesh Patel, district Congress president Mahesh Patel and Alirajpur municipality president Sena Patel. The case was taken on the basis of a complaint filed by district BJP president Kishor Shah who dubbed the Congress’ act as one of arrogance.
District Congress president Mahesh Patel said the BJP lodged this complaint out of frustration at an impending poll defeat. Bhuria is pitted against the BJP’s GS Damor.