The Election Commission of India expressed “strong displeasure” over Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut`s remarks that Muslims should be stripped of voting rights and advised the MP to be more circumspect in future in his public utterance.
In its order issued on Wednesday evening, the Commission, while rejecting his explanation, said that by making such remarks he has violated the provisions of the election code.
Raut had made the remarks in an editorial published in Shiv Sena`s mouthpiece `Saamna`, when model code of conduct was in force then for the bypoll in Vandre East and Tasgaon Kavathe Mahankali assembly constituencies of Maharashtra.
Raut was earlier issued a show cause notice by EC based on a complaint filed against him.
According to the EC, his remark suggesting that Muslims should be disenfranchised violated sub para (1) of Para 1 of the poll code, which restrains party leaders and candidates from making communal appeals and statements that can create mutual hatred, and sub-para 4 of Para 1, which debars “corrupt practices” and offences under electoral laws.
“…now, therefore, the Commission hereby conveys its strong displeasure to you for violating aforesaid provisions of Model Code of Conduct and statutory provisions and further advises you to be more circumspect in future in your public utterances,” the order said.
Responding to the show cause notice, Raut had questioned the authority of the Commission to issue such a notice for any violation of the provisions of poll code and stated that by making the statement he had not violated any provision.