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Assam: 'Dark day,' says Congress after EC reduces Himanta's campaign ban

The Congress slammed the poll panel describing it as a dark day in parliamentary democracy

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Assam assembly polls | Assam | Congress

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Himanta Biswa Sarma
Photo: ANI

Soon after the Election Commission on Saturday in a fresh order gave relief to BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma by reducing his ban from campaigning in assembly polls to 24 hours, the slammed the poll panel describing it as a dark day in parliamentary democracy. The party said that the poll body does not have the guts to sustain its own order.

In a series of tweets, national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "A dark day for Parliamentary democracy. EC doesn't even have the guts to sustain its own order. Deplorable that EC buckles under (Narendra) Modi government's pressure and reverses its own order of ban on Himanta Biswa Sarma. History will neither pardon EC nor BJP for this sin."

Firing salvos at the poll panel, Surjewala said, "Will ECI tell -- Was this somersault taken suo moto or on a fresh plea by BJP/Himanta Biswa Sarma? If yes, why did EC then not call upon the complainant - BPF and If no, why this vexatious change of heart? Does it now give a license to issue threat with impunity?"

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill in a tweet also slammed the poll body and said, "By relaxing the ban on Himanta Biswa Sarma, EC itself has given the proof that they are involved in fixing the election for the BJP. EC must explain why sudden change of heart? Who in BJP called up to threaten them? EC shamelessly becoming BJP co-conspirator in hijacking democracy."

The Congress leaders' remarks came after the Election Commission reduced Sarma's campaign ban on his request, mentioning "accept my sincere regret and assurance of abiding MCC (Model Code of Conduct) in future, and be further pleased to reduce the period of debarment from election campaign from 48 hours to 24 hours".

Sarma had also pleaded on the ground that he is himself a candidate in the constituency which is scheduled for poll on April 6. The BJP leader is contesting from Jalukbari Assembly constituency.

"The commission, having considered your unconditional apology and assurance, has decided to modify its order dated April 2, 2021 and reduce the period of debarment from the election campaign from 48 hours to 24 hours to the effect that permission may be granted for holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, etc., by the concerned district administration authorities, where you (Himanta Biswa Sarma) are expected or likely to participate," the EC said.

"You are directed to ensure compliance of the commissioner's directions."

The poll panel on Friday had barred Sarma from campaigning for 48 hours on charges of threatening opposition leader Hagrama Mohilary of the Bodoland People's Front.

--IANS

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, April 03 2021. 18:07 IST
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