Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Friday censured Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls, for his remarks alleging that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) incited communal violence in the national capital.
According to reports, the Election Commission have also issued a fresh notice to Kejriwal for allegedly repeatedly asking voters to accept bribe from other parties but to vote for AAP.
Kejriwal had asked the voters to "fool" BJP and Congress by voting for AAP even after accepting "bribe money" from them while accusing the parties of "deceiving" the people for years.
"It's election time. When people both from BJP and Congress come offering money, don't refuse, accept... some have looted money from 2G, some have looted money from coal scam. And if any party does not show up, go to its office and take the amount saying we were waiting but you didn't come," Kejriwal said amid cheers from the crowd.
The former Delhi chief minister was speaking at a rally at west Delhi's Nawada area in support of AAP's Uttam Nagar Assembly candidate Naresh Balyan.
"Take money from both the parties but vote for AAP. We will fool them this time. They have been deceiving us for the last 65 years. Now it's our turn," he said.
The poll panel, which had issued notice to the former Delhi CM on January 17 following a complaint by the BJP's Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay, said the AAP leader's comments violated the model code of conduct.
Kejriwal has been asked to respond to the notice by 11 am on January 27 and said, "Failing which the Election Commission of India shall take a decision without any further reference to you".
According to the report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Kejriwal had said: "The BJP has been responsible for inciting communal riots in various parts of Delhi in the recent past."
The notice further said: "Now, therefore, the commission hereby conveys its displeasure and censures you (Kejriwal) for the above violation of the model code of conduct and expects you to be more circumspect in your public utterances in future."
In the commission's views, Kejriwal's statement had the effect of aggravating existing differences or creating mutual hatred or causing tension between different castes and communities.
The commission also noted that Kejriwal has not denied his statement in his reply submitted before the poll panel January 22.
The Delhi Assembly polls would be held on February 7 and votes will be counted on February 10.
(With Agency inputs)