The state election commission issued a show-cause notice to Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha’s principal private secretary, Goutam Chakraborty, on Monday after the CPM accused the chief minister of violating the model code of conduct, which came into effect in view of the June 23 by-polls.
Chief Electoral officer Kiran Gitte received a letter on Saturday from the Tripura CPM secretary Jitendra Chaudhary saying that the Chief Minister has programs scheduled at the constituencies of Krishnapur of Jubranagar and Bamancherra of Surma as part of his poll campaign with four other BJP leaders, Tinku Roy, Balai Goswami, Dilip Debroy and Kamal Mallik. In response to the letter, the BJP spokesperson Nabendru Bhattacharya denied having any such information and assured to clarify the accusation to the poll watchdog if the Election Commission seeks their clarification.
The Opposition party accused the new Tripura CM Manik Saha and his party of mixing official work with election work and using a government vehicle while visiting the North and Dhalai districts recently. Chakraborty was asked to submit his reply within three days of receiving the show-cause notice signed by the additional chief electoral officer.
‘As per ECI instructions contained in Chapter VII of the Manual on Model Code of Conduct that no ministers belonging whether to the central government or state government shall combine in any manner their official tours with election work after the announcement of the bye-elections and the ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles in their headquarters from their place of residences to their office for official work provided that such commuting is not combined with any electioneering or any political activity, which would include a visit to a party office even if it were en route,’ the notice read.