The Election Commission on Wednesday warned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for violating the Model Code of Conduct by promising to build mohalla clinics on the premises of all city courts. The poll body had issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party chief on January 30 for his statement.
Delhi is set to vote on February 8, and the results will be out on February 11.
“...if land could be provided on the premises [of the court complex], mohalla clinics would be established,” Kejriwal said at an event on January 13 at Tis Hazari Court, according to the commission.
Acting on a complaint filed before it by a local Bharatiya Janata Party leader, the commission said the Model Code of Conduct mandates ministers to ensure the “sanctity of electoral process” and not make statements that appear to disturb the level playing field during elections. “Ministers and other authorities shall not make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc,” the commission said in a statement.
In his reply, Kejriwal claimed that the gathering was a private function and he did not attend it in his official capacity. “It was a private affair by using private vehicle and on the invitation by the Bar Association, and further the so called promise in the notice was not a poll promise but reiteration of an old decision of the government and in no manner connected with the ongoing general election to legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi,” he added.
The Election Commission, however, ruled that the statement was made in official capacity. “Now, therefore, the commission, finding the reply was not acceptable, hereby condemns the impugned statements and warns him to be more careful and exercise caution in future while making public utterances,” it added.