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Assam CEO issues notice to Congress over MCC violation charges

Assam CEO issues notice to Congress over MCC violation charges

Guwahati, Apr 9: The Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has issued notice to the Congress on the allegation of violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), raised by the BJP.

A complaint was filed by the BJP on Monday, alleging that the Congress ‘guarantee cards’, which are being distributed house-to-house, were in violation of the MCC.

The CEO issued a show-cause notice to the state Congress president on Monday evening, seeking a response within 2 pm of April 11.

"Whereas, on the basis of prima facie scrutiny, it appears that these guarantee cards bearing the symbol and photographs of star campaigners of your party are violative of the Model Code of Conduct guidelines,” the notice said.

It said the complaint by the BJP stated that the ‘guarantee cards’ promised Rs one lakh to every educated youth in the first year and Rs one lakh per year to one female member of every poor family, without disclosing the source of funds to fulfil these promises.

The CEO maintained that prima facie scrutiny indicated that the card contains a form that collects certain details about the person, including data that is of the nature of personally identifiable information.

It said that while ‘electoral promises are in the realm of possibility, form distribution and data collection make the design transactional and in the nature of inducement of electors’, which is a prohibited activity.

The manifesto is expected to reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for them, as the trust of the voters should be sought only on those promises that are possible to fulfil, it added.

Maintaining that the ‘guarantee cards’ are violative of MCC on preliminary examination, the CEO issued the notice, asking the Congress to present in writing as to why appropriate action should not be taken against the party and its leaders.

Earlier last week, the BJP was also served a show-cause notice by the CEO over an allegation of violation of MCC, raised by the CPI (M) on similar grounds of the collection of voter data.

The Left party had alleged that the BJP violated the MCC by collecting data of people, under the pretext of conducting a socio-economic survey, with the intention of increasing the number of beneficiaries under a government scheme.

The Congress had also submitted a written complaint over the same matter before the CEO’s office against the ruling BJP.

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