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Cong submits poll code violation complaint against Dy CM Fadnavis and BJP nominee from Solapur

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Mumbai, Apr 1 (PTI) The Congress on Monday lodged a complaint with the state chief electoral officer alleging the violation of the poll code by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP's nominee from Solapur Lok Sabha constituency Ram Satpute.

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Congress has tagged a purported video conversation between Fadnavis and Satpute claiming the Deputy CM has agreed to the Solapur contestant's request to facilitate the withdrawal of cases registered against persons belonging to a particular community under section 353 of the Indian Penal Code.

This section deals with assault or criminal force to deter the public servant from the discharge of his duty.

Fadnavis and Satpute have not yet responded to the messages sent to them over the phone for reaction.

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Maharashtra Congress chief spokesperson Atul Londhe submitted the letter of complaint to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer tagging it with a URL of the video clip.

"I am writing to bring to your attention a grave violation of the model code of conduct by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders, particularly Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP candidate from Solapur parliamentary Constituency Ram Satpute, during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.

"Through the video evidence, it has come to my notice that Satpute called Fadanvis for assistance in withdrawing cases under section 353 of IPC. Shockingly, Fadnavis agreed to facilitate this withdrawal, indicating a clear misuse of power and position. Such actions blatantly violate the codes of conduct for elections as they attempt to influence voters through unfair means," the letter stated.

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The Congress alleged that Fadnavis, who handles the Home Department, attempted to sway voters with misleading information when the poll code was in force.

It is imperative to note that the withdrawal of cases must adhere to due process, as mandated by a ruling of the Supreme Court, and any attempt to bypass this process amounts to contempt of court, it stated.

"I urge you to take swift and appropriate action against Ram Satpute, Devendra Fadnavis, and the BJP for their flagrant disregard of the model code of conduct. I have enclosed the relevant video evidence for your perusal, which demonstrates their deliberate attempts to influence voters through illegal means," Londhe added.

Notably, Congress MLA Praniti Shinde, the daughter of ex-Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, is in the fray from the Solapur Lok Sabha constituency, currently represented by BJP. PTI ND NSK

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