Seven BJP Leaders Booked For Poll Code Breach
Seven Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including former Union minister Prahlad Patel and city mayor Swati Godbole, have been booked for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct in Madhya Pradesh, officials said.
Besides, BJP's Jabalpur Lok Sabha seat candidate Rakesh Singh has also been issued a show cause notice for alleged violation of the poll code, district collector and returning officer Chhavi Bhardwaj said.
As per rules, only five persons, including the party candidate are allowed to enter office of the returning officer during filing of nomination papers, she said. But when Singh filed his nomination on Monday, more than five people entered the office, she said.
Besides, those part of the BJP candidate's procession also entered within 100 metres of the district election office, which was a prohibited area, she said.
After examining CCTV footage of the election office, a case was registered at Omti police station on Monday night, District Superintendent of Police Nimesh Agrawal said. The party leaders include:
- Prahlad Patel
- Swati Godbole
- Former Ministers Ajay Vishnoi, Sharad Jain
- MLAs Sushil Tiwari, Ashok Rohani
- Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha State President Akhilesh Pandey
Patel is the sitting BJP MP from Damoh seat in the state.
The returning officer has also recommended suspension of Omti police station in-charge, city superintendent of police and homeguards district commandant, who were responsible for security in the area, for alleged dereliction of duty, Agrawal said.
Former Advocate General PK Kaurav, who is the counsel for BJP leaders, said they will move the high court to challenge the action taken by the poll officer under IPC Section 188 (disobedience to the order promulgated by public servant).