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EC issues show-cause notice to BJP's Abhijit Gangopadhyay for 'undignified' remarks against Mamata Banerjee

The poll panel acted on a complaint by the Trinamool Congress against Gangopadhyay for his remarks against Banerjee while addressing a public meeting held on May 15 in Haldia.  The BJP has fielded Gangopadhyay from Tamluk seat in West Bengal where voting will be held on May 25.

EC issues show-cause notice to BJP's Abhijit Gangopadhyay for 'undignified' remarks against Mamata Banerjee gcw
First Published May 17, 2024, 5:17 PM IST

The Election Commission of India has issued a 'show-cause notice' to BJP leader Abhijit Gangopadhyay ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Significantly, the poll body's action comes in response to the BJP leader's "improper, injudicious, and undignified" statements about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The poll panel said the remarks, prima facie, violated Model Code of Conduct provisions and its advisory dated March 1.

The notice requires Gangopadhyay to explain by 17:00 hrs on May 20, 2024 why action should not be taken against him. Failing to respond will result in the ECI proceeding without further reference to him.

 "In the event of no response from your side within the stipulated time, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in the matter and the Election Commission will take appropriate action or decision in the matter without making any further reference to you," the ECI stated.

The BJP's Lok Sabha candidate for Tamluk made the statements at a public gathering in Haldia district on Wednesday, which became public after a video surfaced online the next day. The comments - condemned as sexist - prompted the Trinamool to file a complaint with the top poll panel, accusing the former judge - with whom the party has had several run-ins - of making "misogynistic" comments. The BJP, however, has denounced the video as "fake".

In a letter to the EC, the Trinamool condemned the BJP leader's "very shameful and egregious statement" and said that the statements revealed the Tamluk candidate's "misogynistic mindset". The letter also alleged that BJP candidates were making "indecorous and degrading statements" against women to garner votes.

The Trinamool Congress urged that the election authority issue orders initiating criminal proceedings against Gangopadhyay and prohibiting him from attending public meetings or rallies. The letter also requested that directives be made to BJP candidates prohibiting them from making "personal, objectionable, and disgraceful" statements.


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