Guwahati: Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has written to state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nitin Khade, seeking action against Pijush Hazarika, the BJP candidate from Jagiroad constituency, for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by aggravating hatred between communities. The party has also sought disqualification of Hazarika’s candidature.
In a viral audio clip, Hazarika, minister of state for health, is seen threatening the reporter of a local news channel (Pratidin Time) for airing a news report related to his wife, Aimee Baruah.
In the memorandum, APCC president Ripun Bora said Hazarika stated that Pratidin cannot save Nazrul Islam, the reporter, and asked him to get ready to face the consequences. He also allegedly warned Islam against indulging in ‘Miya Politics’ to support Congress and ‘Aajmal Party’ (AIUDF), threatening to spoil his life.
Bora highlighted the incident as a serious “threat to democracy where a sitting MLA is threatening those who refuse to take a favourable stand in support of BJP.”
He said the common public and the voters of our state are now under need of protection from such threat.
The MP also pointed out that usage of words like ‘Miya politics’ and ‘Aajmal party’ “directly aggravated the existing differences between the communities of the state and has created mutual hatred between them which has clearly violated the Election Commission of India’s Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates as well as the provisions of Section 123 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 & Section 171 C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.”
The APCC urged the CEO to take prompt and necessary action against Hazarika and to disqualify his candidature from the present state election and issue directions for filing an FIR/complaint against him.
Earlier, Guwahati Press Club also condemned Hazarika’s behvaiour. It said, “It is very unbecoming of a public representative to threaten a journalist of dire consequences, no matter what.”
A joint statement by General Secretary Sanjoy Ray and President Manoj Kumar Nath said, “At a time when the protection of journalists has become a cause of concern, such an uncalled-for attitude by a public representative comes as a shocker.”
Terming the minister as having a ‘power-drunk attitude’, the journalists’ organisation said it “has taken politicking to a new low.”
Further, it demanded “appropriate action should be taken against the minister by the Election Commission after verifying the authenticity of the audio clip.”