EC notice to Ajit Singh’s son
The Election Commission on Monday issued a showcause notice to Rashtriya Lok Dal general secretary Jayant Chaudhary for allegedly violating the model code of conduct. Chaudhary, son of Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, was on Sunday caught on camera receiving cash from a local leader during an election campaign at Mathura.
A sitting MP from Mathura, Chaudhary is contesting Assembly polls from Mant constituency in Mathura where polling will be held on February 28.
“We have issued a show cause notice to Jayant Chaudhary and his party candidate from Govardhan, Thakur Meghshyam Singh, for violating the model code of conduct,” said Ram Autar Raman, City Magistrate of Mathura. The respondents have to submit a reply within 24 hours.
Chaudhary has, however, denied the charges and instead, claimed that the notice has been served on flimsy grounds. He has claimed that the cash in question was received as party fund and not for distribution amongst the voters.
“We were not distributing cash among voters, which would have been a violation of the model code of conduct. It was a fund-raising activity as villagers collected money to be utilised in the activities of the party. We will furnish details of the amount received in the candidates’ account, which will be submitted to the EC,” he said, adding that he was preparing a reply to the EC notice and also consulting lawyers to lodge a complaint with the EC alleging biased attitude of the local administration towards the RLD.
Returning Officer Rekha S Chauhan, who issued the notice, said that according to the video clip, Chaudhary was seen receiving fund twice and then giving it to Meghshyam Singh. “The two bundles of currency note looked worth Rs 50,000 and Rs 21,000, respectively,” she said, adding no amount was mentioned in the notice.
Agreeing that Chaudhary would “get benefit of the fact that no cash was distributed amongst the voters”, Chauhan said this was why no FIR was lodged against the RLD leader. “But if cash was being collected as party fund, doing it in public does not seem appropriate and they should have a receipt of funds,” she said, adding that the notice was served “on ethical grounds”.
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