EC notice issued without proper application of mind: TMC

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Trinamool Congress
New Delhi, Apr 11: Blaming the Election Commission of giving out a "knee-jerk reaction", Trinamool Congress has said the election watchdog's notice to the party to explain the role of its MP who was intercepted at IGI Airport here while carrying about Rs 45 lakh to poll-bound Assam recently was issued "without proper application of mind"

Both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Income Tax department have reported back to the EC's earlier notices to explain the end use of the cash being carried by MP K D Singh, saying that the money was brought back without being used.

"We are constrained to reiterate that the letter is a knee-jerk reaction from the Election Commission and has been issued without proper application of mind and has the effect of tarnishing the image of our party," TMC MP and Minister of State for Shipping in Union Cabinet Mukul Roy wrote in a strongly-worded letter to the EC.

"We are constrained to say that the complaint, if any, has a malafide intent of maligning the good reputation and image of our party. We are extremely shocked that the Election Commission of India has been taken for a ride by the complainant and it is a matter of grave concern that the letter has been issued...playing into the hands of mischievous complainant.

"...we would like to categorically state that the MP was not carrying any cash with him. Infact, it is with great anguish and dismay we would like to mention that the Election Commission, without proper inquiry, has fallen into the trap of interested parties whose sole motive is to damage the image of All India Trinamool Congress Party," Roy said in his three-page letter.

"The MP, K D Singh was not even questioned by the concerned authorities as he was not carrying any cash with him," he said, adding, "there were six senior officials of Alchemist Group (Singh's firm) who were carrying some cash as they were in the midst of negotiations to purchase a tea garden in Assam. The cash was not even used and was brought back and this has also been verified by the authorities."

The I-T department, whose Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) at IGI Airport was transferred on the orders of the EC after the March 22 incident, also reported back to the EC saying the cash has been "accounted for" and the "end use" of the money has not been made.

Roy also said, "All documents of these six officials were thoroughly checked by the airport officials and they were allowed to go as there was nothing illegal or unlawful."

Roy, who said he has been authorised by TMC President Mamata Banerjee to reply to the EC notice, said his party has the "highest regards" for the EC and would "never even think of violating or subverting any of EC's guidelines."

"In view of the facts stated above, we therefore request you to kindly withdraw the letter, reliving us from this agony," Roys letter said.

PTI

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