BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Congress has approached the Election Commission seeking removal of 14 non- MLA ministers from the state BJP government for allegedly violating the model code of conduct by misusing their ministerial positions ahead of the November 3 bypolls.
The ruling BJP, however, denied the allegations, saying none of its candidates misused power or violated any provision of the model code of conduct.
The 14 ministers, who resigned from the Congress and their Assembly membership earlier this year and joined the BJP, are contesting the upcoming by-elections in the state.
The Madhya Pradesh Congress unit on Monday submitted a complaint against them to the state chief electoral officer.
"These ministers are misusing their positions to influence voters by announcing false schemes, performing false foundation laying ceremonies by virtue of their clout as ministers and thus, violating the model code of conduct," Congress spokesman Narendra Singh Saluja alleged.
"The officials of departments held by these ministers are working under the ruling BJP's pressure to campaign for the party, he further charged.
Therefore, these ministers should be immediately removed from their posts for the by-elections to be conducted in a free and fair manner, Saluja said.
However, BJP state spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi dismissed the allegations as baseless, and said those levelling such charges are "desperate, totally disappointed and mentally disturbed".
"All these ministers are now in the peoples court. Let them decide their fate," he said.
"All the allegations of misuse of power or government machinery are baseless and the ministers are following all provisions of the model of conduct, he added.
By-elections for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 3.
The bypolls were necessitated following resignation of 25 MLAs of the Congress and death of three sitting legislators.