Dispur: In a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam ahead of the third and final phase of the assembly elections, the Election Commission has banned state minister and senior party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning or speaking in public including on social media for the next 48 hours.

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The poll body issued the order in this regard on Friday evening on a complaint by the Congress that Sarma had openly threatened to send Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) leader Hagrama Mohilary to jail by misusing the National Investigating Agency (NIA).

The Election Commission had earlier on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to the BJP leader on the complaint received on March 30 but he had denied the charge. The Election Commission’s decision to ban Sarma, one of the BJP’s star campaigners in the assembly polls, came as the commission wasn’t convinced with his justification.

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The BPF is part of the Congress-led alliance which also includes the All India United Democratic Front.

Assam is this time witnessing three-phase election for the 126-member assembly. Voting for the first and second phase was held on March 27 and April 1. Polling for the third phase will be held on April 6 for 40 seats in Assam.



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