Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar on Tuesday refuted the BJP’s charge that flags in temples had been removed by election officials in the State.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Udupi conducted an inquiry and informed us that no flags from the temples have been removed. Our officials have not entered any temple. Flags that were on the road have been removed,” he told presspersons here on Tuesday.
His response was sought over the memorandum submitted by a BJP delegation that included Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Prakash Javadekar, and the former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok.
The memorandum said officials were interfering with the campaign activities of the party. The BJP has also alleged that officials were removing publicity materials displayed on BJP workers’ residence and threatening its workers of extermination.
“Complaints raised by the BJP are under inquiry. However, publicity materials displayed on walls require sanctions from the local authorities, the party and the candidate. We will have to include these in the election expenditure of the local candidates,” Mr. Kumar said.
Regarding allegation of arbitrary implementation of the model code of conduct in several districts, he said the issue came to the notice of the commission, and the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police had been instructed to strictly adhere to the code. “We want nothing more and nothing less of the guidelines. No one can step out (of jurisdiction),” he said.
Complaint against Shah
On the status of a complaint filed with the commission by the Congress on alleged inducement of the family of a murdered RSS worker in Mysuru by BJP president Amit Shah, he said, “It was inquired by the Deputy Commissioner and the Police Commissioner. We also got the Regional Commissioner to inquire. However, the person who allegedly gave the earlier statement has changed her version.”