New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of India on Saturday reduced the ban to 24 hours from 48 hours on Assam Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning in the ongoing Assam Assembly Elections 2021, after he assured the poll panel to abide by the provisions of the model code.

In his representation to the Election Commission, Sarma had pleaded to reduce the ban on the grounds that he is himself a candidate in the constituency which is scheduled to go for polls on April 6.  Canvassing for the third and final phase of Assam assembly elections comes to an end on the evening of April 4. The final phase of polling will be held on April 6.

The poll panel order said the commission has decided to modify its April 2 order and reduce the period of debarment from election campaign from 48 hours to 24 hours "to the effect that permission may be granted for holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, roadshows, by the concerned district administration authorities, where you are expected or likely to participate."

The Election Commission on Friday barred Sarma from campaigning for ongoing Assam elections for 48 hours for his remark against Bodoland People's Front Chairperson Hagrama Mohilary and asked for a response for his comments. 

The Congress had on March 30 approached the EC demanding action against Sarma for his remark that Mohilary would be sent to jail through central probe agency NIA if he does "extremism" with rebel leader M Batha. The Bodoland People's Front is an ally of the Congress in Assam. It was previously with the BJP.

In his reply to the EC -- the letter of which he tweeted on Saturday -- Sarma said his remarks meant that the investigation can be handed over to the NIA as the place of occurrence of crime falls near international as well as the inter-state border. He also justified the mention of Mahilary with relation to the case, saying that an ongoing investigation has proved the connection of Mahilary to the case.

Sarma, who had switched from the Congress ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections, is contesting from Jalukbari. Polling for the third and final phase will be held on April 6 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan