Guwahati, Apr 3 (ILNS) Senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma today moved the Gauhati High Court, challenging the 48-hour ban on canvassing imposed by the Election Commission on him, ahead of the final phase of voting in Assam.
The poll body’s yesterday move followed a complaint by the Congress, alleging that the Minister made threatening remarks against Bodoland People’s Front chief Hagrama Mohilary, who was once an ally of BJP, but switched to the Congress after BJP joined hands with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), to form the Bodoland Territorial Council in December.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala welcomed the ban and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda and others should be similarly barred.
Mr Surjewala said the Commission’s 48-hour ban on Sarma’s campaigning proves that BJP has lost polls in Assam and is resorting to tactics to influence the elections.
He said the EC should also bar Mr Modi, Mr Shah, Mr Sonowal and Mr Nadda, who were shown in ads in Assam’s newspapers for free and fair polls. Mr Surjewala also referred to the incident at Assam’s Ratabari, where officials were found to be transporting an EVM in a BJP candidate’s car.
On Thursday, the poll body had issued a show cause notice to Mr Sarma, to which he replied yesterday. Unfortunately for him, the explanation was deemed not satisfactory. However, Mr Sarma denied charges of violation and pleaded with the EC to revoke ban against him this morning.
In a letter to the Election Commission, he had appealed to the organisation to dismiss the petition lodged by the Congress. The third and final phase in West Bengal will be held on April 6, with votes to be counted on May 2. ILNS/SNG/RJ