Tripura: Allegation of flouting MCC, CM's office served notice by CEO
Jitendra Chowdhury, Secretary CPI(M) (left), and Tripura CM Manik Saha (right)

Agartala: The office of Chief Electoral Officer Tripura has sought clarification from the office of Chief Minister Manik Saha regarding the alleged flouting of the Model Code of Conduct.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Usha Jen Mog served a notice to the Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister Gautam Chakraborty, seeking clarification on the allegations of Model Code of Conduct violation raised by CPI-M state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury. 

The notice says: “Whereas, Sri Jitendra Chowdhury, Secretary, CPI(M), Tripura State Committee has raised a complaint on 28-05-2022 (copy enclosed) citing violation of Model Code of Conduct by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Tripura by using Govt. transportation and combining official work with electioneering works during his visit to North Tripura District & Dhalai District with enclosing a tour programme issued by Goutam Chakraborty, PPS to Hon’ble Chief Minister.”

The notice also reiterated the limitations of ministers when Model Code of Conduct is in force. 

“And, whereas, as per ECI Instructions contained in Chapter VII of Manual on Model Code of Conduct that no Ministers belonging whether to Central Govt. or State Govt., shall combine in any manner their official tours with election work after the announcement of the bye-elections and the Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles in their headquarters from their place of residence to their office for official work provided that such commuting is not combined with any electioneering or any political activity which would include a visit to party office even if it were en-route”, the Notice added. 

The notice has also given an ultimatum of three days for submission of the reply. 

“Now, Shri Goutam Chakraborty, PPS to Hon’ble Chief Minister, Tripura is hereby asked to submit a reply regarding the complaint within 3 (three) days from the date of receipt of this Notice”, the Notice concludes. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s event that was supposed to be telecast in all the district headquarters on May 31 stood canceled in selected places of the state where Model Code of Conduct is in force, Chief Electoral Officer Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao told EastMojo over phone. 

The CEO said, “In West Tripura district, MCC is enforced in 6-Agartala and 8-Bordowali assembly constituencies only. The venue of the central event being held at Tripura falls outside the MCC areas. Apart from that, no such events will be held in Dhalai and North Tripura districts where the model code of conduct came into force in the whole territorial area of the districts.”

Earlier, CPI-M Tripura State secretary Jitendra Chowdhury wrote a letter seeking the CEO’s intervention on the issue.

CPI-M’s allegations were based on some media reports that claimed that the event would be telecast live in giant screen at all the district and sub-divisional headquarters, and accordingly directions were also passed to the concerned DMs.

Also read: Tripura’s ‘ex-militants’ threaten protests, to block NH from June 5

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