The Election Commission (EC) has sent two letters to the chief election officers (CEOs) of Uttar Pradesh and Manipur in connection with the sting op exposing four candidates trying to buy votes. The district election officers (DEOs) of these respective candidates have been urged to take proper legal action against them, and also lodge FIRs against the candidates.
Three candidates from UP
The first of these letters — written by EC Principal Secretary SK Rudola — is for the CEO of UP, and names Ateeq Ahmad Saifi of the BSP, Atul Garg of the SP and Rakesh Valmeeki of the Peace Party, who are contesting the UP Assembly elections from the Moradabad, Agra North and Agra Cantonment constituencies, respectively.
Rudola has said in the letter: "The commission hereby directs that necessary action may be taken to issue notices immediately to the above-mentioned candidates for breach of law under the relevant provisions, i.e., Section 171 B/171E relating to bribery at election, failure to maintain true and correct account of election expenses under section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and violation of MCC [Model Code of Conduct] guidelines." Valmeeki, incidentally, has also been accused of booth-capturing.
The EC has also asked the local DEOs to file FIRs against the trio, and also requested to intimate the EC of the action taken against these candidates by February 25.
BJP candidate trapped in Manipur
The second letter has gone to the Manipur CEO against Woba Joram of the BJP, who is contesting from the Mao constituency. He has been accused of "making statements to the effect of bribing of electors and suppression of election expenses." Rudola has directed the Manipur CEO to initiate action under relevant section of the RP Act, and also asked the local DEO to lodge an FIR against Joram.