The Election Commission of India has issued showcause notice to the National People's Party (NPP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) as their candidates in West Shillong constituency allegedly distributed pressure cookers and bowl sets to voters in violation of the model code of conduct, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said on Saturday.
Elections to the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly will be held on February 27. The counting of votes will take place on March 2. "We have taken suo moto cognizance of the matter following reports that the candidates of these political parties (NPP and UDP) have violated the model code of conduct. They were asked to reply ...," Chief electoral officer FR Kharkongor told PTI.
The showcause was issued by the returning officer of West Shillong assembly constituency to the general secretary of both parties. National People's Party candidate Mohindro Rapsang and United Democratic Party (UDP) nominee Paul Lyngdoh on January 28 and 30 had allegedly distributed freebies (pressure cookers and imported bowl sets) to the voters in violation of the model code of conduct. Rapsang, a first time MLA of the opposition Congress had switched over to the ruling NPP of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma recently.
He denied giving any freebies in violation of the MCC and insisted that the pressure cookers are from his MLA funds well ahead of the poll announcement. Paul, the UDP candidate is a sitting member of the tribal council and a former MLA who lost to Rapsang in 2018 election.
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