EC issues notice to Assam CM for 'Akbar' remark in Chhattisgarh
Sarma targeted Chhattisgarh's lone Muslim minister, Mohammad Akbar, saying, "The land of Mata Kaushalya will get defiled if Akbar isn't sent off"
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a show-cause notice to Assam chief minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for his remarks targeting Chhattisgarh's lone Muslim minister Mohammad Akbar during an assembly poll campaign in the state last week.
Issuing the notice on Thursday 26 October, the commission has asked Sarma to respond by 5.00 pm on 30 October.
Delivering an election campaign speech in Kawardha in Chhattisgarh on 18 October, Sarma had taken a controversial dig at Akbar, saying "the land of Mata Kaushalya would be defiled" if Akbar wasn't sent off. "If one Akbar comes to some place, he calls 100 Akbars. So, send him off as soon as possible, otherwise the land of Mata Kaushalya will be defiled," he said.
Kaushalya, the mother of Lord Ram and principal queen of king Dasharatha in the Ramayana, is believed by many to have hailed from what is modern day Chhattisgarh.
While issuing the notice, the ECI reminded Sarma of a provision in the model code of conduct (MCC) which states that "no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic".
Elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly will be held in two phases on 7 and 17 November.