Dispur | Jagran Politics Desk: In a major setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), senior party leader and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was on Friday evening banned from campaigning for 48 hours by the election commission over his alleged "threatening" remarks against Bodoland People's Front Chairperson Hagrama Mohilary.

"...the Commission hereby strongly condemns the impugned statements made by Sh. Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP leader and star campaigner. The Commission... bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, interviews and public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) etc in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours," said the election commission in its order.

The poll body had issued a show cause notice to Biswa, seeking explanation over his remarks against Mohilary after the Congress alleged that the Assam Minister had "threatened" the BDF chief, demanding his disqualification from contesting the assembly polls.

Accusing Biswa of attempting to influence the voters, the grand old party also demanded that the senior BJP leader should be banned from campaigning in the ongoing state assembly elections in Assam.

"Sarma has sought to cast a malicious and malafide impression on the public at large, that on account of the undue strength of the BJP-led central government manning the central agencies, Sarma is in an undue position to control/ misuse the NIA and hence capable of sending Mohilary to jail. This is a clear message to the voters in order to influence them to not vote for INC alliance including the BPF by completely unconstitutional means and propaganda," the Congress said in its letter to EC.

Assam went to the first phase of polling on March 27 while the second phase of voting took place on Thursday. The third and final phase will be held on April 6 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma