Trouble for BJP as Election Commission order filing of police complaint over Sambit Patra’s press conference


BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra is not alien to controversy and has often courted controversies for his seemingly bizarre comments targeting his political rivals. With key assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh around, it was expected of Patra to turn aggressive with his attack against his rivals.

But little did he know his aggression may prove costly for the controversial spokesperson. The Election Commission on Saturday ordered the local officials in Madhya Pradesh to file an FIR with the police against the BJP organisers of Patra’s impromptu press conference in the poll-bound state on Saturday.

Patra had held a roadside press conference in front of a commercial building in MP Nagar area of Bhopal, where he slammed Congress President Rahul Gandhi on the National Herald case.

The opposition Congress wasted no time in approaching the poll body to claim that Patra’s presser was organised without requisite permissions and that too on public property (road), reported news agency PTI.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer VL Kanta Rao was quoted by the news agency, “A directive has been issued for lodging a complaint against the organisers of the press conference of BJP spokesperson (Sambit) Patra at noon in MP Nagar locality.” Rao said that the organisers of Patra’s press conference had violated the terms and conditions on which permission was granted to them.

MP Congress Election Affairs Wing in charge JP Dhanopia, for his part, said that his party had registered a complaint with the EC adding that Patra’s press conference was held blocking a road without permission and it is a violation of the code of conduct.

The EC had earlier this month announced the dates for assembly elections in five states namely Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana. While Madhya Pradesh will go to polls on 28 November, Chhattisgarh will have two-phase elections. The first phase of polling will take place on 12 November, while the remaining 72 seats in the northern Chhattisgarh will see elections on 20 November.

As for Rajasthan, elections here will take place on 7 December along with Telangana.

BJP is facing a huge anti-incumbency in Madhya Pradesh with opinion polls predicting a possible defeat for the saffron party in over 15 years.



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