A public meeting at its Lucknow office attended by hundreds has landed the Samajwadi Party in trouble just weeks before the Uttar Pradesh election with the Election Commission demanding an explanation for organising the gathering “in the name of virtual rally” in violation of COVID-19 curbs.
Referring to Friday’s event in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the notice said that after considering the matter, the poll body has decided to provide the party with an opportunity to explain its stand regarding the “violations”.
“Your explanation shall reach the Commission within 24 hours of receipt of this notice, failing which the Commission shall take appropriate decision in the matter without further reference to you,” the notice to the Samajwadi Party general secretary read.
Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7 with results on March 10.
Public meetings and rallies have been banned in the state till at least January 22 given the pandemic.
On Friday, the in-charge of Gautam Palli police station was suspended and clarification was sought from two senior officials after a massive crowd gathered at the Samajwadi Party office for the induction of two rebel ministers and some MLAs.
An FIR against 2,500 unknown Samajwadi Party members was also registered at the police station.
Following a report by the Lucknow district magistrate into the violation of the Model Code of Conduct on Covid norms, directives were issued to place Gautam Palli police station in-charge Dinesh Singh Bisht into suspension with immediate effect, an official statement issued by the office of the UP Chief Electoral Officer said.
Former ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, five BJP MLAs and one from the Apna Dal (Sonelal), joined the Samajwadi Party in the presence of its president Akhilesh Yadav at an event on Friday.
Videos showed hundreds of party workers gathered at the Samajwadi Party office, with most of them not wearing masks.