The Election Commission of India (EC) has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by allegedly abetting bribery during an election rally on March 4th. Akhilesh has been asked to reply latest by Tuesday evening. During one of his election meetings at Gyanpur in Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh had allegedly told the public to take money from the rival candidate but only keeping in mind the ‘Cycle’ Samajwadi Party’s election symbol while casting their votes. “I heard that voters are being given money. My advice to you is to keep the money with yourself and vote for the bicycle,” Akhilesh had said.
The poll panel earlier on February 2 had issued notice to Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar after it took cognizance of the complaints from the Goa Forward Party and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal. The commission has alleged that Parrikar deliberately and intentionally instigated the public to take bribe for voting and abetted the offence during the electoral process. The Defence Minister made the statements in question at Chimbel on January 29, in which he purportedly said he had no problem with people accepting money from other parties to attend their rallies, but they should vote for “lotus”.
Similarly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also summoned by the Election Commission in January for ‘deliberately instigating’ the public to accept bribes for voting during a rally in Mapusa, Bardez Taluuka and Goa.
The matter was brought before the Commission’s attention by the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit which had complained the Goa’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). During a rally, Kejriwal said, “Friends now that time for elections are approaching, someone from BJP and Congress will come and distribute money, in fact I heard that it has already started. But don’t refuse it. Take the money. It is our money that they have plundered from us for ages. And take new notes, don’t take the old ones. And one more thing, don’t accept Rs. 5000, instead demand for Rs. 10,000 citing inflation.