The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Imarti Devi for allegedly calling a political rival “insane” and making derogatory remarks about women members of his family. She has been given 48 hours to respond to the notice and explain herself.
Devi, a minister in the Madhya Pradesh government, did not name the political rival in a video that has been shared widely on social media.
Imarti Devi is contesting in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh bye-polls. Bye-elections to 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats will be held on November 3. The results will be declared on November 10.
The Election Commission has also not identified the leader, saying it did not know whom she was referring to. “Let the person reply to the notice,” a poll panel official told PTI. “We have the transcript of the video.” The notice said her statement was found to be in violation of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.
According to the transcript of the video, Devi said the person became “insane” after he stepped down as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. She also allegedly said that the person’s mother and sister could be “items” of Bengal. “He is a Bengali man, who came here to become the chief minister,” the BJP leader was quoted as saying by the Election Commission. “He doesn’t know how to talk. He went insane after he was removed from the chief minister’s seat. Nothing can be said about him. He has gone berserk.”
Devi made headlines recently after Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath called her an “item”, following which there was huge outrage from the BJP and her. The poll panel on Monday issued a notice to Nath, saying that he violated the Model Code of Conduct, and asking him not to use words like “item” for any candidate.
Devi had been a minister in Nath’s 15-month government before it collapsed in March this year. She was also among the 22 MLAs who walked out of the party with Jyotiraditya Scindia, leading to its collapse, which had necessitated the upcoming bye-polls.