The Election Commission on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Himanta Biswa Sarma asking the senior BJP leader for a reply on allegations levelled against him of threatening opposition leader Hagrama Mohilary of the Bodoland People’s Front.
The EC issued the notice following a complaint filed by the Congress on March 30 alleging that Sarma had openly threatened to send Mohilary to jail by misusing the National Investigation Agency. The Congress and Bodoland People’s Front are alliance partners in Assam.
Noting “prima facie violation” of provisions of the Model Code of conduct by Sarma, the EC directed the BJP leader to explain on the allegations by 5 p.m. on Friday. It also warned of action in case the leader doesn’t reply to the notice.
“Now, therefore, the Commission gives you (Himanta Biswa Sarma ) an opportunity to explain your position making the above said statement on or before 5 p.m. of April 2, 2021 failing which the Commission shall take a decision without any further reference to you,” the EC order mentions.
In its complaint, the Congress also alleged that Sarma attempted to influence voters not to vote for the Congress alliance, including Mohilary’s party.
Elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly are being held in three phases. The second phase covering 39 Assembly constituency began at 7 a.m. on Thursday and the third and final phase elections for 40 seats will be held on April 6.
In the first phase elections, 79.97 per cent people exercised their franchise in 47 constituencies on March 27. The votes will be counted on May 2.