The Election Commission has reprimanded BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making personal remarks against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat poll campaign.
The Commission, in its order, issued today directed Mr Sidhu to be more careful in future so that the provisions of Model Code are strictly adhered to and not violated.
Mr Sidhu, while campaigning for BJP in Gujarat's Junagadh district, had on November 29 last year made a speech where he made certain personal remarks against the Prime Minister and Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) president Keshubhai Patel.
"The Commission is satisfied that Navjot Singh Sidhu has violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct by making speech inciting communal/religious feeling and objectionable remarks on the private life of leaders of rival political parties."
"Now, therefore, the Election Commission hereby reprimands Navjot Singh Sidhu and directs that he should be careful in future so that provisions of Model Code of Conduct are strictly adhered to and not violated," the EC order reads.
The EC order also cites Mr Sidhu's remarks made against former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel.
The Commission's reprimand came after Mr Sidhu sought a copy of the CD of his speech and asked for more time, but did not reply to the Commission despite making requests. On his request, the poll body had directed the BJP MP time to reply by January 5.
"After considering all aspects of the case, the Commission has observed that Navjot Singh Sidhu is simply evading to give the reply and prolonging the matter by seeking extentions again and again and has nothing substantial to reply," the EC said.
The Model Code says criticism of other political parties shall be confined to their policies and programmes, past record and work and parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of personal life not connected with the public activities of leaders or workers of other parties.
It also prohibits poll candidates from raising caste or communal feelings to secure votes.