EC Expresses Displeasure Over Pawar's Ink Remark

The Election Commission today expressed its "displeasure" over Union Minister Sharad Pawar's ink remark and asked him to be careful in future and ensure that he did not violate the Model Code of Conduct.

In its order on Pawar's call to his supporters asking them to vote twice after removing the indelible ink in the multi-phase Lok Sabha election in Maharashtra, the poll panel said it was "not satisfied" with his explanation but decided not to pursue the matter further.

The EC said Pawar's call to voters to vote at more than one place was in violation of the law.

"The Commission is not satisfied with your explanation, but, having regard to the expression of regret in your reply, has decided not to pursue the matter further.

"The Commission conveys its displeasure to you and expects you, as a senior politician and president of a national party, to be careful in future to ensure that by words/conduct you do not violate the Model Code of Conduct," said the EC order.

The NCP chief had expressed deep regret for the confusion and misunderstanding his controversial 'ink' remark had caused and requested the Commission to treat the issue as closed.

The Commission had found that the NCP chief has "prima facie" violated the Model Code of Conduct.

The EC had issued a notice to Pawar for asking his party workers to vote twice in Maharashtra after rubbing off the indelible ink.

Responding to the Commission's show cause notice, Pawar had said his remark was made in zest and in spirit of humour.

The NCP chief had while addressing partymen in Navi Mumbai on March 23 asked them to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice, first in their hometowns and then at places of work.

"Last time (in 2009), the polling in Satara and Mumbai was on the same day and people went to their hometowns. But this time, polling in Satara is on April 17 and here on April 24," Pawar had said, addressing a gathering of "mathadi" workers (head loaders) who hail from that district in western Maharashtra.

"Do erase the ink mark which will be put when you vote first. Vote for the clock (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock here as well," he had said.

He had later said the remark was made in "a lighter vein and had a tinge of satire to it".

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