Sanbor faces poll code violation slur

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: In a clear case of alleged violation of model code of conduct, sitting Laban MLA Sanbor Shullai on Saturday distributed several utility items including blankets, plastic chairs, tables under MLA scheme among several beneficiaries at Raid Laban college campus.

The model code of conduct, which comes into force immediately after the announcement of election date, prohibits distribution of such items.

Action of Shullai, who is contesting February 23 election from the South Shillong constituency on an NCP ticket, has not gone well with the State Election department, which is keeping a watch on the activities of the candidates.

“We have received a report that MLA distributed some utility items at Raid Laban College, which is tantamount to violation of model code of conduct,” sources in the state Election Department said.

According to sources, the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills Sanjay Goyal has been asked by the chief electoral officer P Naik to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit report at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the district administration seized the remaining materials meant for distribution and kept in a godown.

The Deputy Commissioner said the materials which were meant to be handed over to the beneficiaries were purportedly under MLA scheme, which is not allowed under the model code of conduct.

Another government official said that the manner in which the college was used for the purpose would also be inquired into.

When contacted, Shullai said that he had not received any official intimation or letter from the Election department with regards to the model code of conduct.

“Any information about model code of conduct or any other Government matter published in the media can not be treated as a directive until an official intimation comes from the concerned department,” he said.

“I had fixed this programme twelve days ago after consulting my supporters,” he said.

He also referred to the inauguration of Shallang police station by Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh on Friday, the day in which model of conduct came into force.

However, when contacted, an official of the election department clarified that the Home Minister inaugurated the police station on Friday morning whereas the model code of conduct came into force only after 3.30 pm when the election date was announced.