Akbar remark: Assam CM defends his statement despite EC notice
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday defended his remarks made last week against a Chhattisgarh minister during election campaign in that state which goes to the polls in two phases on November 7 and 17.
Sarma defended his remarks, saying it was a “legitimate criticism” of Chhattisgarh minister Mohammed Akbar.
During campaigning at Kawardha in Chhattisgarh on October 18, Sarma had said, “If one Akbar comes to some place, he calls 100 Akbars. So, send him off as soon as possible, otherwise the land of Mata Kaushalya will get defiled.”
Notably, Mata Kaushalya, the mother of Lord Ram, is believed to hail from modern day Chhattisgarh.
Sarma was issued a show-cause notice by the Election Commission on Thursday for allegedly breaking the Model Code of Conduct. The notification directed Sarma to file his reply by October 30.
Taking to X on Friday, Sarma wrote, “Congress has withheld the material information from the Hon’ble Election Commission that Mohammed Akbar is their candidate from the Kawardha constituency. Therefore, legitimate criticism of a candidate does not amount to communal politics.”
The Chief Minister also asserted that the Congress will have to face legal consequences for not revealing the crucial fact in their representation.
“I have full faith in the wisdom of the Hon’ble Election Commission,” he added.
On October 19, the Congress had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission on Sarma’s statements disparaging Akbar, who has been fielded by the party as its candidate from the Kawardha Assembly constituency.
The Congress had said that Sarma’s comments demonstrated a blatant purpose to instigate disparate social groups against one another.
Meanwhile, serving the notice to Sarma, the Election Commission (EC) said, “No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.”