EC rejects Jayalalithaa’s defense

Jayalaltiha ECNEW DELHI: Rejecting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s defense on Model Code of Conduct violation, the Election Commission today advised her to be careful in future and not announce new schemes during elections to lure voters.

The Commission also asked various political parties, especially their leaders, to scrupulously follow the Model Code aimed at ensuring a level-playing field and not resort to any “subterfuge” to circumvent it.

“The Commission rejects the contention made in the reply of Ms J Jayalalithaa and has decided to advise her to be careful in future and not make such announcements of new schemes for electorate with a view to alluring them,” said an EC order.

The EC had issued a notice to Jayalalithaa on December 2 for prima facie violation of the Model Code by announcing new schemes ahead of December 4 Yercaud assembly bypoll in the state.

She was accused of announcing new schemes for development of the area at a poll meeting on November 28 in Kootathupatti village, where bye-elections are being held.

The Commission said that the Model Code endeavors to ensure level-playing field between contesting parties and candidates in election and also in order to see that the purity of the election process does not get vitiated.

“All political parties, and more so its prominent leaders, are expected to scrupulously follow the Model Code of Conduct, in letter and spirit, and not resort to any subterfuge to circumvent the provisions of Model Code of Conduct,” it said.

Jayalalithaa had in her reply to the Commission notice said she had not violated the Model Code provisions and that the announcements made by her were general in nature. –PTI

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