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EC unhappy with Gadkari’s remarks

EC unhappy with Gadkari’s remarks
Highlights

The Election Commission expressed displeasure at Union Minister Nitin Gadkari\'s remarks that appeared to endorse bribes for votes during campaigning.

New Delhi: The Election Commission expressed displeasure at Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's remarks that appeared to endorse bribes for votes during campaigning.

In its order, which also carried excerpts of Gadkari's response to the Commission's show cause notice, the Election Commission (EC) said, "irrespective of whatever intentions you might have had, such statements clearly bring disrepute to the purity of our elections as well as the integrity of the democratic process." The EC also asked Gadkari to be "more circumspect in your public utterances in future."

Responding to the show cause, Gadkari had told EC that "the entire tenor of my speech was to denigrate any attempt to allure/induce voters through any unlawful means. This was done by me through humour and sarcasm. At this point, I would also like to underscore the absence to humour in our present public life. I would urge you to consider carefully the humorous tone in which I spoke..." He pleaded that the EC should not interpret his "observations as exhortations to the atmosphere of bribing for vote-seeking. On the contrary, in my own humble way, I was trying to appeal to the electorate not to succumb by fulfilling the purpose for which such alleged inducements might be offered in any form by any quarters."

Adding that he has the highest regard for the model code of conduct, he said he has "never uttered a word" that could be construed as a violation of the model code.

The former BJP president had allegedly said in Marathi that "now, I am watching your faces and I have some skill of predicting the future by way of face reading. You have an opportunity of 'Laxmi darshan' in next 10 days. Special people to get foreign made, ordinary people to get local brand...All are Gandhivadis asking for Rs. 5000. In these days of inflation, keep one thing in mind, eat what you wish and drink what you desire. Keep whatever you get. This is the time when illegally earned money can go to the poor.”

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