NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Saturday finally issued notice to Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.
The minister had been asked to file a reply to the EC notice by 5 pm on Monday.
Addressing a public meeting in Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, which was also attended by his Cabinet colleague Salman Khurshid and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, Beni Prasad had said, “reservation for Muslims will be increased and if the EC wants, it can now issue a notice to me.”
The EC listed three clauses, which appeared to have been violated by the minister, -- “no appeal in the name of caste and community can be made to secure votes, the party in power at the Centre shall ensure that no cause is
given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purpose of its election campaign, and the ministers shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises, which may have the effect of influencing the votes in favour of the party in power.”
The EC had examined the video of Beni Prasad’s speech and said, “it was prima facie satisfied that the steel minister by making the aforesaid statements had violated the aforesaid provisions of the model code of conduct.”
The commission had also taken serious note of the minister’s act of “daring the EC” to take action against him, in the wake of the minority reservation announcement. Further, the EC notice stated, “it was evident from the above statements that he was aware he was violating the model code of conduct and yet he did the same.”