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Badal put on notice
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
The Election Commission of India has taken a serious view and issued a notice to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal asking him why action should not be taken against him for combining his official visits for electioneering work in the Amritsar-South Assembly byelection.

The EC today issued a notice saying the Chief Minister had made official visits to Tarn Taran and Moga and then combined these official visits with visits to Amritsar from the said places, for the election campaign in Amritsar.

Listing out dates, the EC has said that Badal visited Tarn Taran five times between April 28 and May 8, while he visited Moga on May 15. Each time his official bullet-proof vehicle was used. These visits, by combining the official visits of the Chief Minister to Tarn Taran and Moga with the electioneering campaign visit to Amritsar as indicated above, prima facie, constitute a violation of the provisions of the model code of conduct and the directions of the Election Commission.

The commission has asked Badal to submit his reply by tommorow or an explanation as to why action should not be taken for the said violation. The EC has said that the model code of conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates, is in force in Amritsar district from April 16. According to this model code, the party in power at the Centre or in the state concerned, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign. In particular, ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work.



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