EC notice issued `without proper application of mind`: TMC

Trinamool Congress has said that the EC`s notice to the party to explain the role of its MP who was intercepted at IGI Airport while carrying about Rs 45 lakh to Assam recently was issued `without proper application of mind`.

New Delhi: Blaming the Election Commission
of giving out a "knee-jerk reaction", Trinamool Congress has
said the election watchdog`s notice to the party to explain
the role of its MP who was intercepted at IGI Airport here
while carrying about Rs 45 lakh to poll-bound Assam recently
was issued "without proper application of mind"

Both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Income Tax
department have reported back to the EC`s earlier notices to
explain the end use of the cash being carried by MP KD Singh,
saying that the money was brought back without being used.

"We are constrained to reiterate that the letter is a
knee-jerk reaction from the Election Commission and has been
issued without proper application of mind and has the effect
of tarnishing the image of our party," TMC MP and Minister of
State for Shipping in Union Cabinet Mukul Roy wrote in a
strongly-worded letter to the EC.

"We are constrained to say that the complaint, if any,
has a malafide intent of maligning the good reputation and
image of our party. We are extremely shocked that the Election
Commission of India has been taken for a ride by the
complainant and it is a matter of grave concern that the
letter has been issued...playing into the hands of mischievous

"...we would like to categorically state that the MP was
not carrying any cash with him. Infact, it is with great
anguish and dismay we would like to mention that the Election
Commission, without proper inquiry, has fallen into the trap
of interested parties whose sole motive is to damage the image
of All India Trinamool Congress Party," Roy said in his
three-page letter.

"The MP, KD Singh was not even questioned by the
concerned authorities as he was not carrying any cash with
him," he said, adding, "there were six senior officials of
Alchemist Group (Singh`s firm) who were carrying some cash as
they were in the midst of negotiations to purchase a tea
garden in Assam. The cash was not even used and was brought
back and this has also been verified by the authorities."

The I-T department, whose Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) at
IGI Airport was transferred on the orders of the EC after the
March 22 incident, also reported back to the EC saying the
cash has been "accounted for" and the "end use" of the money
has not been made.

Roy also said, "All documents of these six officials were
thoroughly checked by the airport officials and they were
allowed to go as there was nothing illegal or unlawful."

Roy, who said he has been authorised by TMC President
Mamata Banerjee to reply to the EC notice, said his party has
the "highest regards" for the EC and would "never even think
of violating or subverting any of EC`s guidelines."

"In view of the facts stated above, we therefore request
you to kindly withdraw the letter, reliving us from this
agony," Roy`s letter said.