‘Take bribes’ remark reply: EC gives 2 more days to Kejriwal

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015,21:12 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Election Commission today granted two more days to AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal to respond to a showcause notice issued to him for prima facie violating the poll code by allegedly asking voters to take bribes from BJP and Congress but only vote for his party.
The Aam Aadmi Party convener was asked to respond to the showcause by today failing which the EC was free to take a decision without any further reference to him. The EC now granted him time till 3 PM on Saturday to respond to the notice after Kejriwal sought more time today. He has to respond to an earlier notice issued by the Commission for another case of alleged Model Code of Conduct violation by tomorrow morning.
The poll body had issued a notice to the former Delhi chief minister on January 20 for allegedly making a speech where he had asked voters to take bribes from BJP and Congress but only vote for his party. The EC notice said the statement, made during a public rally on January 18 in Uttam Nagar here, amounts to abetting and promoting electoral offence of bribery under relevant sections of Representation of the People Act read with provisions of the IPC.
On another development in the issue Arvind Kejriwal today got support for his contentious remark, asking voters to vote for AAP after taking bribes from BJP and Congress, from an unexpected quarter as JD(U) president Sharad Yadav defended the comment and sought review of EC’s notice to him. Yadav sought to justify the Kejriwal’s comment saying there is nothing wrong in it. Election Commission had made efforts to prevent money and muscle power in the elections and a person is saying that take money from BJP and Congress but do not sell your auspicious vote. So what’s wrong with it…it is justified, he said.
At an election rally on Sunday, Kejriwal said, It is election time. When people both from BJP and Congress come offering money, don’t refuse, accept… some have looted money from 2G, some have looted money from coal scam. Take money from both the parties but vote for AAP. We will fool them this time. They have been deceiving us for the last 65 years. Now it’s our turn. The comments drew sharp reactions from all the quarters and the EC issued show cause notice to Kejriwal saying the comment is a violation of poll code as it is abetting and promoting electoral offence of bribery.
Seeking a review of the move, Yadav has written to Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma saying, I request you to kindly review your decision for issuing a show cause notice to AAP in the interest of democracy. In my opinion, such statements are made by different political parties during election time from centuries and mostly by those parties which have meagre resources, the letter stated.
Yadav also did not agree with the view that the comment is an encouragement for taking bribery. I do not think that he has given any encouragement to the voters to take bribe and vote, but rather he said that you should exercise your right of vote as per your choice, Yadav said. However, the JD(U) leader admitted that money and muscle power play a big role in influencing the poor by taking advantage of their poverty during the elections. The black money being used in the elections belongs to certain corporate and business houses, he stated.