Election Commission issues notice to Akhilesh Yadav over bribery remark

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav

New Delhi : The Election Commission (EC) on Monday shot a notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and abetting bribery during one of his election rallies recently.

The EC has sought a reply from Akhilesh by Tuesday evening as to why action should not be initiated against him.

Akhilesh, during one of his election meetings at Gyanpur in Bhadohi (Uttar Pradesh) on March 4, allegedly told the public to take money from the rival candidate but keep in mind the "Cycle" -- Samajwadi Party's election sysmbol -- while voting. 

Speaking about the rival candidate, Akhilesh said: "Suna hai ki bahut paisa baant raha hai. Paisa bhi rakh lena aur Cycle ko yaad rakhna (I hear he is distributing a lot of money. Keep the money but remember the cycle)." 

Not amused with Akhilesh's remarks, the commission in its notice called it a prima facie violation of the MCC and abetting bribery.

"Whereas bribing and abetment of bribery is an offence under IPC, it is also a corrupt practice under 123 (1) of Representation of the People Act, 1951, and in the Commission's prima facie opinion your aforesaid statement is violative of provisions of sub-para (4) of Para (1) of the Model Code of Conduct," the EC notice read.

"You are hereby called upon to explain latest by 5 p.m. on March 7 as to why action should not be taken against you, failing which the Commission shall take a decision without any further reference to you," it added.