The Election Commission on Thursday let off Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with a light rap for his bribery remarks by asking him to be “more circumspect and careful” in future. Rejecting claims of the senior BJP leader that the CD carrying his purported remarks has been tampered with and that the translation of his statement from Konkani to English is faulty, the Commission said leaders should be careful in their public utterances.
“…there is no objection, if someone roams there with Rs 500. But you should keep in mind that vote shall come to lotus (BJP’s election symbol) only,” the Commission order quoted Parrikar as saying on January 29 in Chimbel, Goa while addressing a public rally.
Assembly elections in Goa were held on February 4.
The poll panel said all leaders, especially those who occupy high constitutional positions, are expected to ensure and promote the sanctity of electoral process.
“Public utterances by such persons which even remotely give the indication of condoning act of accepting bribe in connection with election are not acceptable as it could amount to encouraging bribery in election which, apart from being an electoral offence, is also a corrupt practice,” the election watchdog told the Union minister.
It said Parrikar’s remarks violate the norms. Goa Forward Party and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal had approached the Commission against Parrikar.