In unprecedented move, EC tells Kiran Bedi to be careful on election code violation

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In perhaps an unprecedented move, the Election Commission today issued an ‘advisory’ to Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi following complaints of model code violation and asked her to be “more circumspect” in future to avoid any scope for complaint.

T Murugan, Executive Member of Communist Party of India (Marxist), had moved the Commission alleging model code violation by the L-G, including one relating to “calling Chief Electoral Officer Puducherry and district collector with field staff” when the process to hold bypoll to the Nellithope assembly constituency was on.

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The bypoll was held on 19 November, leading to the chief minister Narayanasamy’s victory.

 Kiran Bedi

The EC advisory said the poll body went through the point-wise replies given by her but “… the reply was not found very satisfactory.”

The Commission reminded Bedi that “all authorities, who are in higher constitutional positions, are expected to ensure the sanctity of electoral process, not to engage in any activity or appear to engage in any such activities which disturbs or appears to disturb the level playing field of conduct of election or creates doubts in the minds of stakeholders about integrity of the electoral process and also follow the model code of conduct in letter and spirit.”

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The Commission said in some of the alleged matters, “it was found to be wanting” and it “expects that in future, you would be more circumspect so as not to leave any scope for complaint by anyone”.

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Bedi had unsuccessfully led the BJP’s campaign in Delhi assembly polls in February last year, when the saffron party was reduced to just three seats in the assembly. Bedi too had suffered a humiliating defeat.

Known as a die-hard supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bedi was rewarded the appointment of LG earlier this year.

She was later accused of interfering with the functioning of the Congress-led government.

(With PTI inputs)

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