The Election Commission on Monday directed the Bihar chief electoral officer to file a First Information Report against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav for distributing money to people in Patna on Sunday.
In the course of a function held at Bihta village on Saturday, Lalu was seen (on camera) distributing currency to dalit women. Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president S K Modi termed it as 'a blatant violation of the model code of conduct'.
Alleging that Prasad was wooing voters with bribes, a delegation of BJP leaders had met the Election Commission and complained against Prasad.
The EC directed that an FIR be filed under Sec 171(b) of the Indian Penal Code relating to bribery as an electoral offence and other provisions of law, EC sources said.
The decision to give the direction to the state government was taken at a meeting of the full commission, Chaired by Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy.
Defending his action, Prasad on Monday said he had not violated the model code of conduct by distributing money to the poor. "I am used to giving money to poor dalits, and not just during election time, to receive the blessings of aged dalit women," the RJD chief told reporters.
In a lighter vein, he added, "Thank God, I have been shown (by the electronic media) giving money and not taking money."
3-phase polling in Bihar, Jharkhand