New Delhi, April 17: The Election Commission (EC) Tuesday expressed its displeasure saying that Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil had violated the model code of conduct during a speech at Belgaum in Karnataka.
"The commission conveys its displeasure to you over your impugned speech and cautions you to be careful and not repeat such instances in future," said the EC order.
"The commission directs that as you have stated that you had gone to Belgaum to attend a private function, you should bear the cost of your said visit on your own account if it has been treated as an official visit in violation of the commission's order," said the EC.
The EC said that it had announced the schedule for holding elections to the Karnataka legislative assembly on March 20, and accordingly the Model Code of Conduct had come into force.
According to the EC, it had received a report that Patil made a speech at a function organised to celebrate the birthday of an editor of a daily at Belgaum in Karnataka April 7.
Patil had said that "blackening the face of the ex-mayor of Belgaum city corporation is not an incident against an individual but as one which affects 12 crore Marathi-speaking people. Till now people are tolerant, but if their self respect is affected, then the swords that are drawn out should not be put back until the goal is achieved."
The commission said it was not satisfied with Patil's reply.
The EC said it had seen the CD of the speech which violates various sections of the Model Code of Conduct, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the Indian Penal Code amounting to corrupt practice and an electoral offence.