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EC Issues Show-cause Notice to Assam CM Sarma Over ‘Akbar’ Remarks During Chhattisgarh Poll Campaign

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma for his ‘Akbar’ remark during the Chhattisgarh poll campaign.

This notice to the BJP leader responded to his recent comments directed at Chhattisgarh’s sole Muslim minister, Mohammad Akbar, made during the assembly election campaign last week.

Sarma has been given a deadline to provide a response to the notice by 5 p.m. on October 30.

In his speech delivered in Kawardha, Chhattisgarh on October 18, Sarma made a controversial remark about Akbar, stating that “the sacred land of Mata Kaushalya would be tainted if Akbar is not removed.”

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Sarma’s statement in Kawardha on October 18 included: “When one Akbar arrives in a particular location, he brings along a hundred Akbars. Therefore, it’s crucial to remove him swiftly, or else the sanctity of Mata Kaushalya’s land will be compromised.”

Mata Kaushalya, who is revered as the mother of Lord Ram, is traditionally believed to originate from the region that is now part of modern-day Chhattisgarh.

When serving the notice to Sarma, the Election Commission referenced a provision in the election code that prohibits any party or candidate from engaging in activities that could exacerbate pre-existing divisions, foster mutual animosity, or incite tension among various castes, communities, religious groups, or linguistic groups.

The elections for the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly are scheduled to take place in two phases, with voting to be conducted on November 7 and November 17.

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