Assam Assembly polls | EC cuts short ban on campaigning by Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 hours

The EC took into account his “unconditional apology” and “assurance” to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct

The Election Commission on Saturday cut short the ban on campaigning by BJP leader and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from 48 hours to 24 hours, taking into account his “unconditional apology” and “assurance” to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct.

The EC had on Friday banned Mr. Sarma from campaigning for the April 6 polls for 48 hours after finding that a speech he made violated the MCC. He had said Bodoland People’s Front chief Hagrama Mohilary would be jailed if he engaged in extremism.

On Saturday, the EC wrote to Mr. Sarma saying that it had considered his representation and reduced the ban from 48 hours to 24 hours, meaning that he could campaign from Saturday evening onward. With polls on April 6, campaigning is scheduled to close on Sunday.

The EC said Mr. Sarma had requested it to accept his “sincere regret and assurance of abiding MCC in future”.

The EC said he also “pleaded on the grounds that you are yourself a candidate in the constituency which is scheduled for poll on 6th April, 2021”. Reducing the ban from 48 hours to 24 hours, the EC said Mr. Sarma could be given permission for holding any public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows etc. by the district authorities concerned.

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