EC issues notices to K'taka Dy CM, Maha Home Minister



New Delhi: The Election Commission has issued notices to Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa and Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil for giving "hate speeches" while campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly elections.

The two leaders have been directed to reply to the notices by 5 PM on April 13, failing which the Commission will go ahead with its action without any further notice. Karnataka goes to polls on May 5 to elect its 224-member assembly and the Model Code of Conduct of Conduct is in force as the poll process in the state is on. Counting will be held on May 8.

While Eshwarappa had given his "hate speech" on April 9 in Shimoga in Karnataka while campaigning in the area, Patil had given such a speech in Belgaum in the state on April 7. The Commission said a complaint has been received against him for his speech made in Shimoga assembly constituency of Karnataka and after seeing the CD a notice has been sent.

"The Commission has seen the CD of your said speech and Whereas, the statement so made prima facie violates Sub para (1) and (3) of para (I) of the MCC (Model Code of Conduct) and also constitutes a violation of Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 amounting to electoral offence in the electoral matters," the notice said.

On the other hand the notice to Patil said, "statements made prima facie violates Sub paras (1) and (3) of para (I) of the MCC and also constitutes a violation of Section 123 and 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951; 153A, 153B and 505 of Indian Penal Code amounting to corrupt practice and electoral offence in the electoral matters."

The Model Code prohibits inciting any communal feelings and no party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. It says there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.

PTI