Assam Elections: EC seeks explanation from Himanta Sarma for his remarks on Hagrama Mohilary

The Congress had approached the poll body, alleging that Sarma had threatened to send Hagrama Mohilary to jail by misusing the NIA.

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday issued a showcause notice to Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly making threatening remarks against opposition leader Hagrama Mohilary of the Bodoland People’s Front.

He has been asked to respond to the notice by 5 pm on April 2.

The Congress had approached the EC alleging that Sarma had threatened to send Mohilary to jail by misusing the NIA.

The Bodoland People’s Front is an ally of the Congress in Assam.

Assembly elections in Assam are being held in three phases. While the first phase was on March 27, voting in the second phase is underway on Thursday. The last phase is on April 6.

The notice to Sarma cited various provisions of the model code, including the one dealing with refraining from making unverified allegations against political rivals and, avoiding “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters.

“…the Commission is, prima facie, of the view that that Sarma has violated the above said provisions of the Model Code of Conduct,” the notice read.

It also quoted from the transcript of the speech provided by the state election machinery.

“If Hagrama does extremism with Batha he will go to jail. This is a straight talk. If Hagrama encourages Batha, he will go to jail. Already got lot of evidence. This case is being given to NIA,” Sarma’s speech says, according to a portion that is part of the notice.


Assam Govt to Enact Anti-Love Jihad Law Post 2021 Election: Himanta Biswa

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday revealed that the state government has drafted a bill to curb deception in cases of marriage.

Speaking to Republic TV, the minister said that the bill will be enacted after the BJP-led government is re-elected to power in the 2021 Assam Assembly polls.

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma remarked, "Actually, in Assam, we have seen many cases where girls particularly get engaged to a boy thinking that they are from the same religion. Because many people hide their real identity in social media and thereafter, certain things happen after which the girls cannot come back from the situation. We continued to get such complaints and they were authenticated later on by facts and circumstances. We consider that marriage is a voluntary engagement by the two consulting parties. There should not be any fraud or element of cheating. So, we have to cover infrastructure or an institutional mechanism where even the remotest chance of fraud is eliminated. We have drafted a law. But we do not want to push it now as Assam is going to elections in the next two months. But as and when we come back to power, this will be our priority."

Weighing in on the contours of the proposed bill, Sarma stated that it will ensure that no person can provide a false identity to get married.