A delegation of Congress leaders on Tuesday met the Election Commission seeking registration of a case against BJP chief JP Nadda and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for allegedly violating the law by giving advertisements in newspapers claiming victory in the assembly polls.
Congress leaders led by Rajiv Shukla urged the EC to immediately act against the BJP leaders for trying to “influence” the Assam elections by “making predictions” about the first phase.
He claimed the BJP leaders have flouted the Representation of the People Act and rules of the EC which clearly bar anyone including astrologers and tarot card readers from making any prediction about the outcome of polls.
Mr Shukla alleged that the ruling party at the Centre and in the state of Assam is flouting the law and strict action should be taken against it.
He also said that they have complained against Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly threatening the Congress’ alliance partner Bodoland People’s Front of action through the use of central agencies and demanded strict action against him.
Lawyer and Congress leader Devdutt Kamath said the Election Commission “heard us on two important issues and have assured of action”.
He said the EC has said that it has sought a report from its observers as well as the state officials before initiating action in the matter.
“Our complaint was with regard to the telecast and printing of certain advertisements just after the first phase of the upper Assam elections and in those advertisements, the BJP’s desperation has sought to portray that they are winning all the seats in upper Assam.
“This is totally illegal and contrary to section 126 of the Representation of the People Act as also the Election Commission’s own circular which prohibits the dissemination of any prediction even by third parties, astrologers, tarot readers and by political analysts. So, here is a case where a political party is seeking to disseminate the result, predict the result, which is in total violation,” he said.
He also alleged that Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been openly intimidating and threatening Congress’s ally, the Bodoland People’s Front, by saying that they will get its leaders arrested through the NIA.
“This is openly seeking the help of central investigative agencies in the ongoing Assam assembly elections, which is again totally prohibited and it is an offence under the IPC and also under the Representation of the People Act,” he said.
The Congress had earlier complained to the EC regarding the matter and sought early action in the case.