Goa polls: EC serves notice to Manohar Parrikar on 'bribe' remarks

During poll campaigning in Goa, Parrikar had told voters to take money from other candidates but vote for BJP.

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday sent a notice to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for violating the Model Code of Conduct with his “bribe” remark at a Goa rally earlier this month, and asked him to submit his explanation on the matter by February 3.

Addressing an election campaign in Goa on January 29, Parrikar had asked voters to take money from other parties but vote only for the BJP.

Goa Forward Party had filed a complaint with state Chief Electoral Office, claiming Manohar Parrikar violated the model code of conduct by making a statement “similar” to the one made by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal who had purportedly asked people to accept money but vote for his party.

In its complaint, the Goa Forward Party attached a statement purportedly made by Parrikar during a corner meeting of BJP in Chimble village, a suburb of state capital.

“….I understand if someone organises a rally and you take Rs 500 for moving around with (candidate), that is not a problem. But when you vote, choose the lotus (BJP’s poll symbol)..This you must remember,” Parrikar was quoted as saying by the Goa Forward party.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, against whom an FIR has recently been registered for making a similar remark at a Goa rally, had also written to the EC urging the poll body to take legal action against other leaders who had made statement on “bribery”.

“Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on January 29 had said that he can understand that some people might give upto Rs 500 to the people, but they should take the money and vote for BJP only,” Kejriwal had said in the letter.

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