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Bypolls: Congress applauds EC’s warning to Assam’s CM for MMC violation

The Assam Congress applauds the Election Commission’s warning to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for violating the model code of conduct ahead of the Assembly bypolls on Wednesday.

On October 30, 2021, bypolls will be held in five Assembly constituencies in Assam, including Thowra, Mariani, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, and Gossaigaon.

The EC issued the warning to the Assam CM after receiving two separate complaints from the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhupen Kumar Borah and Debabrata Saikia, the Opposition Leader in the Assam Assembly.

The APCC claims that chief minister Sarma is a “habitual offender” who “disregarded” the ECI’s model code of conduct while campaigning for the bye-election as the BJP’s star campaigner, announcing new schemes and allocating financial assistance to self-help groups (SHGs).

Sarma had previously offered the Election Commission a “unconditional apology” “in case of any inadvertent commission/omission of any provision of the model code of conduct.”

“Although CM Sarma requested an unconditional apology from the ECI for any inadvertent commission/ omission of the model code of conduct in a submission to the ECI, the ECI considered all reports, documents, and materials related to the matter and issued a warning to CM Dr Sarma, cautioning him to be more careful, to exercise restraint in the future, and to follow the code of conduct when making public statements,” the ECI said.

The EC acknowledged receiving two complaints against CM Sarma, one from Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia and the other from APCC president Bhupen Kumar Borah, for making several announcements on development works and aid to SHGs during the election campaign in the Bhabanipur, Thowra, and Mariani constituencies.

APCC president Bhupen Kumar Borah mentioned the ECI’s warning to CM Sarma for violating the model code of conduct during his election campaign in Bhabanipur, where he unveiled a statue of freedom fighter and martyr Dilip Kumar Das.

“It is a black day for Indian politics and for Assam,” Borah said, “that chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma had to tender an unconditional apology for violating the ECI’s model code of conduct and engaging in appeasement politics and false promises.”

“This is the result of the Congress’s complaints against him for making false promises to the people and revealing his true colours.” It is a watershed moment in the state’s history, as the state’s chief minister has been forced to write to the ECI, requesting an unconditional apology for violating the model code of conduct.”

“This is the same CM who promised in the name of democracy to uphold the law and the Constitution’s ideals.”

“He has forfeited his moral right to serve as Prime Minister.” It has been demonstrated that CM Sarma will go to any length to maintain his power. “The chief minister referred to the Congress’ Nepali and tribal candidates as ‘cows,'” Borah continued.

“Dr. Sarma has been dealt an open-handed blow by the ECI. “I demand that CM Sarma apologise to the people of Assam for sullying the chief minister’s chair, which has previously been occupied by the late CM Gopinath Bordoloi,” Borah added.

Debabrata Saikia, the leader of the Assam Congress Legislature Party and the State Assembly’s Opposition Leader, also addressed the issue at a press conference in Sivasagar.

“While campaigning for bye-elections in different places, Assam’s chief minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, has violated the ECI’s model code of conduct,” Saikia said. So, on October 22, 2021, I filed a complaint with the ECI against him.”

“The Commission had issued CM Sarma a show-cause notice based on the complaint. He has also been severely reprimanded by the ECI, who has warned him to watch his language when speaking to the public in the future.”

“Dr Sarma should apologise to the people of Assam for violating the election code of conduct and insulting the people of Mariani, Thowra, and Bhabanipur, as well as the entire state,” he added.

MP and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi addressed a press conference at Rajiv Bhawan in Guwahati on Wednesday, welcoming the ECI’s decision to issue a warning to CM Sarma.

“By breaking the election code of conduct, Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has embarrassed Assamese people in front of the entire world.” At the same time, he has completely betrayed the people of Bhabanipur, Mariani, and Thowra, while mocking the emotions of the people of the state,” he said.

“He also tried to get around the election by luring people in with promises of new schemes, thus violating the election code of conduct. However, on October 26, the ECI issued a show-cause notice to CM Sarma in response to the Congress applauds,” he added.

“CM Sarma replied that he had already announced the schemes mentioned in the budget. “Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma is the biggest liar in the history of chief ministers,” Gogoi declared.

CM Sarma has also “insulted” the state’s constitutional seat of power, according to Gogoi. “Not only did CM Sarma violate the model code of conduct, but he also lied to the Commission,” Gogoi charged.

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