EC issues notice to Kejriwal over poll speech comments

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday issued notice to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for violating the model code of conduct by "deliberately and intentionally" instigating the public to take bribe for voting in Goa assembly elections.

The poll panel has asked Kejriwal for a response by January 19, failing which action could be taken against him.

In his all the four speeches at various rallies in Goa last weekend, Kejriwal had said that people should not just accept Rs 5,000, but demand Rs 10,000 from politicians keen on offering money, but vote for his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

"If the Congress or BJP people offer money, don't say no to it. It is our own money, at least you are getting some of it back... But when it comes to pressing the EVM button, vote for AAP," he had said.

The Commission said it has received a complaint from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that Kejriwal on January 8 in Goa "deliberately and intentionally instigated the public to take bribe for voting and has thereby abetted the offence of bribery during the electoral process by making the statement".

The notice issued by Secretary to the Election Commission Sumit Mukherjee read: "The Commission is prima-facie of the opinion that by making the aforesaid statement, you (Arvind Kejriwal) have violated the model code of conduct.

"Therefore you are called upon to explain by 1 p.m. on January 19 as to why action should not be taken against you for violation of the Model Code of Conduct."

According to the guidelines of model code of conduct, political parties and candidates need to avoid scrupulously all activities which are corrupt practices and offence under the election law. 

Goa goes to polls on February 4.