Election Commission Issues Show-Cause Notice to Assam Chief Minister for Allegedly Making Communal Remarks in Chhattisgarh

News Reporter News Reporter
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Election Commission Issues Show-Cause Notice to Assam Chief Minister for Allegedly Making Communal Remarks in Chhattisgarh
Allegations of Violating Election Conduct Codes Prompt Election Commission Action
New Delhi, 26 October, 2023: In a recent development, the Election Commission has taken a significant step by issuing a show-cause notice to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The notice stems from allegations of the chief minister making communally charged remarks during an election campaign in poll-bound Chhattisgarh. The Election Commission, through its show-cause notice, has expressed concerns that certain portions of Sarma's speech, delivered on October 18, may have violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The commission has set a deadline of 5 pm on October 30 for Himanta Biswa Sarma to respond to the notice. This development comes in the lead-up to the elections for the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly, which are scheduled to take place in two phases on November 7 and 17.

The Congress party, in its official complaint to the Election Commission, alleged that Sarma made statements that were not only communally charged but also included unverified allegations and distortions against its candidate from Kawardha, Mohammed Akbar.

In the portion of his speech under scrutiny, Sarma was quoted as saying, "If one Akbar comes to one place, don't forget that they call a hundred Akbars. Therefore, bid farewell to Akbar as soon as possible, otherwise this land of Mother Kaushalya will be defiled." Kaushalya, the mother of Lord Ram, is traditionally believed to hail from what is now modern-day Chhattisgarh.

He continued by saying, "So that's why brothers and sisters, you people have to save Chhattisgarh. This sacred land of Maa Kaushalya has to be saved, and hence all of you should make Vijay Bhaiya victorious," referring to the BJP candidate from Kawardha.

Another portion of Sarma's speech that drew the attention of the Election Commission was, "Today, Love Jihad started in our country during the Congress rule. Today, the tribals of Chhattisgarh and our tribals like Assam are encouraged to convert to Islam every day, and when voices are raised against them, Mukesh Baghel ji says that we are secular. Is it beating Hindus, your form of secularism? This is a country of Hindus and will remain of Hindus. Don't teach us this language of secularism."

While issuing the show-cause notice, the Election Commission reminded the Assam Chief Minister of a crucial provision in the election code, which states that "no party or candidate shall engage in any activity that may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic."

The show-cause notice to Himanta Biswa Sarma marks a crucial moment in the lead-up to the Chhattisgarh assembly elections, as it underscores the Election Commission's commitment to maintaining a fair and unbiased electoral environment. As the nation awaits Sarma's response to the notice, the upcoming polls remain a focal point of interest and scrutiny.