New Delhi: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has claimed that the Election Commission has not found him guilty of paid news. Defending himself, he said that he will respond to the EC notice.
"I have done no wrong, the EC has categorically ruled out the paid news controversy, please refer to the EC judgement. We will respond to EC, there are 20 days more," Chavan said.
The EC has rejected his explanation in the 2009 paid news case against him. The Commission also noted that Chavan flouted rules after he failed to lodge his election expenses for 2009.
The EC has given Chavan 20 days to to explain why he should not be disqualified as a Member of Parliament. If disqualified, Chavan will not be able to contest elections for three years.
Following is the full text of the statement by Chavan's office:
There is a specific finding recorded by the Election Commission in its order Dt. 13.07.2014 that the alleged publications are not paid news. The publications relate to only general party propaganda. Therefore, the allegations regarding paid news at the instance of Ashok Chavan are rejected by the Election Commission. The election meeting advertisements were published by some party workers in the local newspapers relating to some public meetings held in Nanded District. Ashok Chavan did not incur any expenditure on these advertisements. However, the Election Commission has issued notice on a prima facie view of implied authorization to party workers. The entire expenditure in this behalf could be around Rs 16,924/-. In this behalf the show cause notice is issued by the Election Commission for which the appropriate explanation is solicited within 20 days.