MUMBAI: The district election officer of Mumbai has issued a notice to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for alleged violation of the model code of conduct over his comments against CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar.
Raut, who is the editor of Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', said in the publication on Sunday that Kumar should be defeated in the elections even if it means the BJP has to "tamper with EVMs".
Kumar, the former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University's student union, is contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha poll from Begusarai in Bihar.
In his column 'Rok Thok' in the Marathi daily, Raut also said that Kumar, "a bottle of poison", must not reach Parliament.
Following his remarks, the Rajya Sabha MP was issued a notice on Monday, asking him to respond to it by Wednesday.
Further action in the matter will be decided by the Election Commission.
Mumbai city Collector Shivaji Jondhale, who is the district election officer, in the notice said Raut's statement showed "lack of faith in the deployment of EVMs and muddying the electoral process".
When contacted, Raut told PTI that he will respond to the notice to clarify his stand.
"I have received the notice based on what I have written in 'Saamana'. We respect the EC and I will respond to the notice and clarify my stand in the time provided," he said.
Meanwhile, police and flying squads have seized cash and other items worth Rs 75.78 crore across Maharashtra since the enforcement of the model code of conduct on March 10, according to official figures.
These include Rs 19.82 crore cash, gold worth Rs 38.36 crore, liquor worth Rs 13.64 crore and narcotic substances worth Rs 3.96 crore.