Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday said that Union Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar has prima facie violated the Model Code of Conduct by his `ink` remark and sought an explanation from him over the matter.
The Election Commission has asked him to explain his remark by 5 pm on Thursday failing which it will take a decision without further reference to him.
"...The Commission is, prima facie, of the opinion that by making the aforesaid statement you have violated the ... (sub para 4 of para 1) provision of Model Code," the EC wrote to the NCP chief.
The provision states that "all parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are corrupt practices and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters..."
The poll body, acting on a complaint by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, sent him a copy of the VCD carrying the speech he made in Navi Mumbai yesterday.
The EC rap comes after Pawar in an election rally asked his party workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in Maharashtra by voting twice, first at their hometowns and then at places of work.
Addressing a gathering of "mathadi" workers (head loaders) who hail from that district in Western Maharashtra recently, Pawar said, "Last time (in 2009), the polling in Satara and Mumbai was on the same day and people went to their hometowns. But this time, polling in Satara is on April 17 and here on April 24.”
"Vote for the clock (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock here as well. Do erase the ink mark which will be put when you vote first," he added, to loud laughs at the gathering.
He later on backtracked from him comment and avered, "I wasn`t addressing any public or election meeting. My statement was misinterpreted."