Assam: EC Reduces Campaigning Ban on Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 Hrs
The action by the EC was taken over Sarma’s objectionable remarks against BPF Chairperson Hagrama Mohilary.
The Election Commission reduced the period of debarment of Assam Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning, from 48 hours to 24 hours, the commission said on Friday, 2 April.
Earlier on Friday, the EC had barred Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for the ongoing Assam elections for 48 hours.
Soon after the EC’s relief, Congress slammed the poll panel describing it as a dark day in parliamentary democracy. The party said that the poll body does not have the guts to sustain its own order.
“The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in his behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, roadshows, interviews and public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media), in connection with the ongoing elections, for 48 hours from immediate effect,” the EC had said while imposing the 48-hour ban.
The action by the EC was taken over Sarma’s objectionable remarks against Hagrama Mohilary, Bodoland People's Front Chairperson.
Sarma posted a reply to the notice on Twitter.
On Thursday, 1 April, the Election Commission (EC) had sought an explanation from Sarma over a controversial statement at a rally after a complaint by the Congress.
The Congress had alleged that Bodoland People’s Front Chairperson and Congress ally Hagrama Mohilary was “openly threatened” to be sent to jail via a probe by a central agency.
The EC had asked Sarma to submit the explanation by 2 April.
The Congress had approached EC seeking registration of an FIR against Sarma and demanded a ban on his campaigning for the rest of the poll season.
“While issuing the threat, Sarma went to the extent of saying that they (BJP) will ensure that NIA investigates and implicates Mohilary and that he is sent to jail. By the said threats, Sarma also attempted to influence the voters to not vote for INC alliance, including Mohilary’s party,” the Congress said in its complaint to the EC, as quoted by The Indian Express (IE).
Sarma is is contesting the upcoming Assembly election in the state from the Jalukbari seat.
While two phases of the Assam Assembly elections are over, the third is scheduled for 6 April. The results will be declared on 2 May.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.