EC reprimands Sidhu for remarks against Manmohan, Keshubhai

The Election Commission (EC) has reprimanded BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making personal remarks against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat Assembly poll campaign last year.

In its order issued Wednesday, the Commission directed Sidhu to be more careful in future so that the provisions of Model Code are strictly adhered to and not violated.

While campaigning for the BJP in Junagadh district on November 29 last year, Sidhu had made a speech in which he made certain personal remarks against the Prime Minister and Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) president Keshubhai Patel.

The EC, in its order, said, "...Navjot Singh Sidhu has violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct by making speech inciting communal/religious feeling and objectionable remarks on the private life of leaders of rival political parties."

"Now, therefore, the Election Commission hereby reprimands Navjot Singh Sidhu and directs that he should be careful in future so that provisions of Model Code of Conduct are strictly adhered to and not violated," it added.

The order also cites Sidhu's remarks made against Patel, a former Chief Minister.

The Commission's reprimand came after Sidhu sought a copy of the CD of his speech and asked for more time, but did not reply to the Commission despite requests. On his request, the EC had directed the BJP MP time to reply by January 5.

"After considering all aspects of the case, the Commission has observed that Navjot Singh Sidhu is simply evading to give the reply and prolonging the matter by seeking extensions again and again and has nothing substantial to reply," the EC said.

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