The Election Commission on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly making threatening remarks against opposition leader Hagrama Mohilary of the Bodoland People's Front. He has been asked to respond to the notice by 5 pm on April 2. The Congress had approached the EC alleging that Sarma had threatened to send Mohilary to jail by misusing the NIA.
The Bodoland People's Front is an ally of the Congress in Assam. Assembly elections in Assam are being held in three phases. While the first phase was on March 27, voting in the second phase is underway on Thursday.The last phase is on April 6.
The notice to Sarma cited various provisions of the model code, including the one dealing with refraining from making unverified allegations against political rivals and, avoiding "corrupt practices" and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters.
"...the Commission is, prima facie, of the view that that Sarma has violated the above said provisions of the Model Code of Conduct," the notice read.
It also quoted transcript of the speech provided by the state election machinery.
"If Hagrama does extremism with Batha he will go to jail. This is a straight talk. If Hagrama encourages Batha, he will go to jail. Already got lot of evidence. This case is beinq qiven to NIA," according to a portion of Sarma's speech made part of the notice.