The returning officer (RO) for Nagaland’s parliamentary election M. Patton has served a show cause notice to Congress candidate K.L. Chishi for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by using the official emblem of India and asserting that he is a Christian in an undated appeal letter that is being widely circulated in the social media.
In the notice to Chishi on Wednesday, the RO said the Congress Lok Sabha candidate has made the appeal bearing the letterhead of the former Nagaland chief minister, embossed with national emblem, which is in contravention to Rule 10 (1) of State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules, 2007.
“And, whereas, in the same appeal letter, you have stated that you are a Christian, and, as per the General Conduct under Model Code of Conduct ‘No Party or Candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic’,” the notice said.
The RO issued two notices to Chishi previously on March 19 and 28 informing him of the provision relating to ‘Corrupt Practices’ and electoral offences in the Representation of the People (RP) Act 1951 and the offences relating to election in chapter IX -A of the IPC.
Citing that the Supreme Court in its judgment dated January 2, 2017 has taken cognisance whereby seeking votes in the name of religion, caste or community amounts to ‘Corrupt Practices’ and with the MCC having been enforced in the state since March 10, 2019, the RO stated that since Chishi has violated the MCC, show cause notice was being issued seeking reply within 48 hours from the candidate as to why action should not be initiated against him as per the appropriate provisions of the law.
“And ensure that the said appeal letter be discontinued/deleted from all social media platforms with immediate effect,” the RO told the Congressman.
In the letter in question, Chishi had categorically stated that he was “a Congress man with a secular tag and a Christian”.