The Election Commission (EC) has accepted Himanta Biswa Sarma’s plea reducing the ban placed on him from campaigning from 48 hours to 24 hours. The Election Commission on Friday had barred Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for 48 hours for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary.
The Election Commission’s previous order would have meant that Sarma’s campaigning effectively would have come to an end as the campaigning for the third and final phase of the Assam elections ends on April 4. Since the ban has been reduced to 24 hours, Himanta Biswa Sarma can restart his campaigning on April 4.
The EC in its reply to Himanta Biswa Sarma’s appeal said, “The Commission, having considered your aforesaid unconditional apology and assurance/undertaking, in the above mentioned representation, has decided to modify its Order dated 2nd April, 2021 and reduce the period of debarment from election campaign from 48 hours to 24 hours to the effect that permission may be granted for holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, etc., by the concerned district administration authorities, where you are expected or likely to participate.”
“You are directed to ensure compliance of the Commission’s aforesaid directions,” the EC further said in its reply to the Assam minister.
Himanta Biswa Sarma’s team earlier on Saturday had said that it would go to the Election Commission to review the order issued by the agency on April 2 where it had “condemned the statements made by Himanta Biswa Sarma” and barred him “from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, interviews and public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours from immediate effect on April 02 (Friday).”
The Congress had approached the EC against Himanta Biswa Sarma demanding action against the remark made by him against Mohilary where he allegedly said that the BPF chief will be sent to jail through National Investigation Agency is he does ‘extremism’ with rebel leader M Batha, according to a report by news agency PTI.