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EC pulls up Telangana BJP MLA for bid to intimidate UP voters

Deccan Chronicle.| Vineeta Pandey

Published on: February 17, 2022 | Updated on: February 17, 2022

A video clip of Raja Singh was widely circulating on various media platforms in which he is seen as threatening the voters in UP

Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh (PTI)

Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh (PTI)

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India on Wednesday pulled up Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh and issued a showcause notice to him for his alleged comments with an intimidating tone to voters in Uttar Pradesh asking them to "vote for Yogi Adityanath or their houses will be razed down and they will have to leave the state".

In the showcause notice, issued through the chief electoral officer of Telangana, the EC has said it is prima facie of the opinion that T. Raja Singh has violated the model code of conduct and sections of the Indian Penal Code, as well as the Representation of the People Act, by making the statements, and he should explain within 24 hours why action should not be taken against him.

The EC said a video clip of Mr Raja Singh was widely circulating on various media platforms in which he is seen as threatening the voters in UP while asking them to vote for Yogi Adityanath. "I want to tell those who do not vote for the BJP that Yogiji has called for thousands of JCB bulldozers which have started for Uttar Pradesh. After the elections, all those areas will be identified where the people have not voted for Yogiji, and you know what the JCB bulldozers are used for! I want to tell those ‘traitors’ of Uttar Pradesh, who don’t want to see Yogiji as chief minister, that if you want to stay in Uttar Pradesh, then you have to chant ‘Yogi-Yogi’, or else you all will have to leave the state."

Taking serious note of the alleged comments, the EC told Mr Raja Singh: "You are hereby called upon to show cause within 24 hours from the receipt of this notice as to why appropriate penal action under criminal law should not be initiated against you and also as to why appropriate action for violation of the Model Code of Conduct should not be taken against you. Take notice that in the event of no response from your side within the stipulated time, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in the matter and the Election Commission will take appropriate action or decision in the matter without making any further reference to you."

Sub-section (2) of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with "corrupt practices", provides acts such as undue influence, that is to say, any direct or indirect interference or attempt to interfere on the part of the candidate or his agent, or of any other person with the free exercise of any electoral right.

Threatening any candidate or elector, or any person in whom a candidate or an elector is interested, with injury of any kind, including social ostracism and excommunication or expulsion from any caste or community, shall be deemed to interfere with the free exercise of the electoral right of such candidate or elector.

Undue influence in elections under Section 171C of Indian Penal Code says that whoever voluntarily interferes or attempts to interfere with the free exercise of any electoral right commits the offence of undue influence at an election. Also, whoever threatens any candidate or voter, or any person in whom a candidate or voter is interested, with injury of any kind, or induces or attempts to induce a candidate or voter to believe that he or any person in whom he is interested will become or will be rendered an object of divine displeasure or of spiritual censure, shall be deemed to interfere with the free exercise of the electoral right of such candidate or voter.

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