The Election Commission today issued a show cause notice to former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi for allegedly making a "deemed appeal" to pastors and bishops of various churches in Dumka seeking their support in the Lok Sabha elections.
The poll panel has given Marandi, leader of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (P), time till Wednesday morning to explain his stand on the show cause notice failing which it will take a decision without further reference to him.
The commission issued him the notice based on the report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Jharkhand and a complaint lodged by a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader.
The notice said that the commission "has received report dated April 20, 2014 of CEO Jharkhand enclosing complaint....
that you have made an written appeal dated April 13, 2014 to all churches in Dumka stating a quote from Holy Bible (and) making a deemed appeal for support from all bishops, pastors, brothers and sisters in Christ from Dumka Lok Sabha seat."
The EC said prima facie Marandi has violated a clause in the Model Code of Conduct which states that "there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes." Marandi is a candidate from the Dumka seat which went for polls on April 24.