Assam: EC Issues Notice to CM Sarma For 'Akbar' Remarks During Chhattisgarh Poll Campaign

Assam: EC Issues Notice to CM Sarma For 'Akbar' Remarks During Chhattisgarh Poll Campaign

The commission has asked Sarma to respond to the notice by 5 pm on October 30. The EC action came a day after the Congress filed a complaint with it against Sarma.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, October 26, 2023, 08:38 PM IST
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Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma | FPJ

The Election Commission on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Assam Chief Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for his remarks targeting Chhattisgarh minister Mohammad Akbar during the assembly poll campaign last week.

The commission has asked Sarma to respond to the notice by 5 pm on October 30. The EC action came a day after the Congress filed a complaint with it against Sarma.

What Sarma said in the speech

In a speech in Kawardha in Chhattisgarh on October 18, Sarma had taken a controversial dig at Akbar saying that "the land of Mata Kaushalya will get defiled if Akbar isn't sent off."

"If one Akbar comes to some place, he calls 100 Akbars. So, send him off as soon as possible, otherwise the land of Mata Kaushalya will get defiled," he said.

Mata Kaushalya, the mother of Lord Ram, is believed to hail from what is modern day Chhattisgarh.

Sarma's attack on Chhattisgarh Congress

Sarma also attacked the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh over several issues, including religious conversion.

"Today, the tribals of Chhattisgarh, who are dear to us, are being encouraged to convert their religion on a daily basis. And when someone raises their voice against it, Bhupesh Baghel ji says 'we are secular'. Is beating up Hindus your secularism? This country is a country of the Hindus and will belong to Hindus. Do not teach us secularism, we do not need to learn secularism from you," he said.

Congress file complaint against Sarma

The Congress on Wednesday filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Sarma for his remarks against Akbar, the party's candidate from Kawardha.

The party alleged that Sarma's remarks showed a clear-cut intention to incite sections of society against one another.

While issuing the notice to Sarma, the Election Commission reminded him of a provision in the poll code which states that "no party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic."

Elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly will be held in two phases - on November 7 and 17.

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