Sharad Pawar sends clarification to poll panel notice on ‘ink’ remarks

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Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar sent his clarification to the Election Commission (EC) of India on his “double voting” remarks which had created furore.

In its notice, the EC said Mr. Pawar prima facie violated the model code of conduct by his “ink” remarks and asked him to explain by 5 pm on Thursday, failing which it will take a decision without further reference to him.

Addressing Mathadi workers (head loaders) in Navi Mumbai on Sunday, Mr. Pawar asked them to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice, first at their hometowns and then at places of work and also asked them to “erase the indelible ink applied to the forefinger”.

NCP spokesman Nawab Malik told that EC had sent a notice to Mr. Pawar based on complaints of a few opposition parties regarding the comments.

“The clarification has been sent and we are confident that appropriate decision will be taken,” he said.

After his statement kicked up a controversy, Mr. Pawar sought to tone it down, saying his remarks were made in a “lighter vein and had a tinge of satire”.