NEW DELHI: Election Commission Tuesday reprimanded Congress functionary Randeep Surjewala over his alleged derogatory remarks against BJP MP Hema Malini and barred him from campaigning for 48 hours. This is the first campaign ban imposed by the poll body in this Lok Sabha election cycle.
EC had last Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Surjewala for his alleged “undignified, uncivilised and vulgar” remarks against Malini.
In his reply to the showcause notice, the Congress general secretary maintained that the video cited by BJP was “doctored”. EC rejected his claim and said the district returning officer of Kaithal had noted that the Congress functionary had made the remarks on March 31 at Faral village under Pundri assembly segment and the entire speech was videographed by the video surveillance team.
The poll watchdog told him that it was convinced that he had made the said statement and thus violated provisions of the model code of conduct.
“The commission without prejudice to any order/notice issued or to be issued subsequently to him in the matter relating to MCC violations, hereby, strongly condemns the impugned statement made by him during the election campaign held in Haryana and reprimands Randeep Surjewala for the misconduct,” the EC order stated.
Using its constitutional powers under Article 324, EC barred Surjewala from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours from 6pm on April 16.
In its notice, EC said that on careful examination, the comments were found to be “highly undignified, vulgar and uncivilised” and to be prima facie violative of the provisions of the MCC and the poll panel’s advisory issued to parties last month.

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