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Himanta Sarma’s campaign ban time reduced to 24 hours

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New Delhi, Apr 03: BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma's campaign ban time has been cut from 48 hours to 24 hours.

The Election Commission on Friday barred Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for 48 hours with immediate effect for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People''s Front chief Hagrama Mohilary.

Himanta Sarma’s campaign ban time reduced to 24 hours

"... The Commission hereby strongly condemns the impugned statements made by Himanta Biswa Sarma ...

"The Commission ... bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, interviews and public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours from immediate effect on April 02 (Friday)," the order read.

Sarma has thus been barred from campaigning and related activities till April 4. Campaigning for the third and final phase of Assam assembly elections comes to an end on the evening of April 4.

The final phase of polling will be held on April 6.

In his reply on Friday to the EC notice, Sarma denied the allegations.

But the EC said it did not find Sarma''s reply satisfactory.

The Congress had approached the EC demanding action against Sarma for his remark that Mohilary would be sent to jail through central probe agency NIA if he does "extremism" with rebel leader M Batha.

The Bodoland People''s Front is an ally of the Congress in Assam. It was previously with the BJP.

On Thursday, the EC notice to Sarma quoted transcript of the speech provided by the state election machinery.

"If Hagrama does extremism with Batha he will go to jail. This is a straight talk. If Hagrama encourages Batha, he will go to jail. Already got lot of evidence. This case is being given to NIA," according to a portion of Sarma''s speech made part of the notice.

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