EC files FIR against Kejriwal, but Parrikar too made exactly similar remarks before


India’s Election Commission last week ordered filing of an FIR against Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor, Arvind Kejriwal, for his alleged bribery remarks.

The commission had earlier censured Kejriwal for his speech at a rally at Mapusa in North Goa.

Kejriwal had said at the rally that people should accept the money offered by BJP but vote for AAP.

The poll body today also termed as “scurrilous” the AAP leader’s claim, in response to the censure, that the commission was encouraging bribery by restraining him from making such statements in future.

The commission said FIR/complaint be lodged against the AAP leader under provisions of the Representation of the People Act dealing with bribing of voters and relevant sections of IPC.

“Being Chief Minister of Delhi and a star campaigner of AAP in Goa, he is expected to conduct in an exemplary manner in election campaigns in a law abiding manner so as to be a role model for others to emulate but he has on several occasions violated provisions of MCC by breaking his assurance to EC…

“The Commission directs that necessary legal action be initiated by filing an FIR/complaint against Arvind Kejriwal for the statements…compliance report in this regard should be sent to the Commission latest by 3.00 PM on January 31,” the poll panel said on Sunday.

Many would hail the EC’s tough stand given that the body has long invited wrath from politically neutrals for being toothless and having become irrelevant even in the face of rampant violations of model code of conduct.

However, just when the EC was about to earn its unusual share of accolades, a video has emerged showing Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar making remarks similar to that of Kejriwal.

Parrikar, who too is a star campaigner and has bigger portfolio than a chief minister, is heard saying in the video, “We are giving you Rs 1500 per month for 5 years, you calculate it, it comes to Rs 90,000. And this will also increase that means you will get a lakh or a lakh and half in next 5 years.

“Today if you take Rs 2000 from someone or attend someone’s rally and take Rs 500 or Rs 1000. I don’t mind. But vote only for kamal (BJP’s election symbol lotus).”
It’s not clear as to how old the video is, but Parrikar can be seen sporting a huge lotus on his dress. The fashion to flaunt lotus symbol had gained momentum only since 2014 elections.
It remains to be seen if the EC will show consistency and order filing of a FIR against the defence minister in retrospect.
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