BJP leader Imarti Devi — the Madhya Pradesh minister who was called “item” by ex-chief minister Kamal Nath, a remark that triggered widespread outrage – was on Saturday barred by Election Commission from campaigning in the state for a day. She has been accused of making objectionable comments against some women who are family members of a rival candidate in the poll-bound state.
The development comes after Kamal Nath, the senior-most Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh, had triggered a controversy by calling the BJP leader an “item” in a poll rally.
“The Commission under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, also bars Imarti Devi, from holding, anywhere in Madhya Pradesh, any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media), in connection with ongoing elections for one day on 1 November,” the election body’s order read.
The poll body had earlier issued a notice to Imarti Devi for allegedly describing one of his rival as “insane” and making remarks against some of his family members.
The commission said it has carefully considered the matter and is of the considered view that Imarti Devi “has violated provisions… of general conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates and disregard of the advisory issued by the commission.”
The commission had on Monday advised Kamal Nath over his controversial remarks.
On Friday, the poll body revoked his “star campaigner” status of Kamal Nath over repeated violations of the model code. The ex-chief minister on Saturday challenged the poll body’s decision in Supreme Court.
Campaigning for the 28 assembly seats going for bypoll in Madhya Pradesh on November 3 ends on November 1 (Sunday) evening.