Maharashtra CM violated poll codes: Congress complains to EC


Mumbai/New Delhi, June 5: The Maharashtra Congress on Tuesday filed a formal complaint alleging violations of the Model Code of Conduct by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the recently held Lok Sabha by-elections in Palghar.

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Tuesday said a three-page plea has been handed over to Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat in the Election Commission headquarters in New Delhi.

According to news agency IANS report, the complaint details various incidents whereby Fadnavis allegedly violated the Model Code of Conduct in force during the by-poll, making announcements of various schemes, missing voters names and other discrepancies.

The plea has been sent in the name of Congress candidate in Palghar, Damodar Shingada, Former-MP, seeking a strong action against Fadnavis and other concerned officials.

Shingada noted that during the election, the Congress complained to the Returning Officers several times regarding these violations but no action was taken against them by the poll panel.

The Congress leader highlighted Fadnavis’ announcements promising waiver of ‘khavati’ loans and disbursal of new ‘khavati’ loans for tribals, a new medical college in the district, excluding 29 villages from the jurisdiction of Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation.

Then came Fadnavis’ hugely controversial remarks exhorting BJP workers to use “Saam Daam, Dand Bhed” to clinch victory in Palghar elections at any cost, which Shingada described as a threat to ‘the people and opposition parties’, the instances of the saffron party workers caught distributing cash at the behest of local district party chief, and violation of the Rs 70 lakh spending limit by the winning BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit.

The plea also pointed out how a large number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) — 282 in Palghar and 250 in Bhandara-Gondiya — were down due to technical glitches for hours.

The Congress complaint came six days after the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray described the Palghar Lok Sabha by-elections as “a farce”.

On May 31, Thackeray had charged that large-scale manipulations were made in the EVMs with the knowledge of the EC officials.

In the two Lok Sabha bypolls in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party retained the Palghar seat, but it lost the Bhandara-Gondiya seat to the Nationalist Congress Party.


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