EC raps Parrikar, advises him to be ‘careful’ with words

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (EC) on Thursday censured Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for “encouraging bribery in election” and told him to be “more circumspect and careful in future” with his words.

Parrikar, during the election campaign in Goa, had purportedly told voters to accept money from other parties but vote for BJP.

On January 29, while addressing a gathering in north Goa, Parrikar said: “…Now also someone will give you Rs 1,000… We give Rs 1,500 every month. After five years, Rs 1,500 will become Rs 90,000 and this will also increase.”

“Today, take from anyone Rs 2,000 and vote for them… There is no problem if somebody roams around by taking Rs 500 but just vote for the Lotus.”

Parrikar was speaking in Konkani language and was reported by the District Electoral Officer of north Goa.

The EC had on February 1 issued a show-cause notice to Parrikar and sought his explanation in two days. In his reply, Parrikar said that the meaning of his statement was changed due to incorrect translation from Konkani to English.

However, the poll panel has rejected the plank after finding that the CD containing Parrikar’s remarks was not doctored and after getting it translated again by a Konkani language expert.

“The Commission has carefully considered your request and transcript of the entire speech was again obtained and translated by a language expert of Konkani… The Commission has observed that the translation done by a three-member committee and by the language expert is substantially the same,” the EC wrote in a letter to Parrikar on Thursday.

The poll panel observed that such utterances by people holding high constitutional position “could amount to encouraging bribery in election, which apart from being an electoral offence, is also a corrupt practice”.

“The Commission advises you to be more circumspect and careful in future,” the poll panel said.