EC censures Arvind Kejriwal for bribe remarks at Goa poll rally

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New Delhi: Cracking the whip, the Election Commission (EC) has censured Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for his bribe remarks made at a poll rally in Goa and said if he continues to violate the model code, stern action would be taken against him and his party, including suspension or withdrawal of recognition to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“The Election Commission hereby censures you for violating… provisions of MCC (Model Code of Conduct) and expects that you shall be more circumspect in your public utterances during election time.

“You may also note that in case of similar violation of MCC in future, the Commission shall take stern action against you and your party, using all powers available to it including action under Para 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968,” it said in its order issued on Friday.

Para 16A gives the poll panel power to “suspend or withdraw recognition of a recognised political party for its failure to observe Model Code of Conduct or follow lawful directions and instructions of the Commission”. While issuing him show cause notice on 16 January, the Commission had quoted him as saying at an election rally that Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will come to distribute money. People should accept it in new currency and ask for Rs10,000 instead of Rs5,000 keeping in mind the inflation. He had said that the vote should go to AAP.

Reacting to the order, Kejriwal said EC is wrong and he will challenge it in the court. “EC order agnst (sic) me completely wrong. Lower court gave order in my favor. EC ignored court’s order. Will challenge EC’s latest order in court,” Kejriwal tweeted.