Bhopal: The campaigning for the October 21 Jhabua assembly by-election ended on Saturday, but BJP MLA Ramesh Mendola was arrested on the charge of moving in the constituency on Sunday afternoon. Besides, State vice-president of BJYM Gaurav has also been nabbed on the similar charges.
As per the rules of Election Commission, no outsider can remain in the constituency after the campaigning ends (within 48 hours of the polling). However, violating the rules, Mendola was found moving in Antervelia village area. The police caught him and took to the police station.
Sources said that the police were tipped off that some illegal material was in the vehicle of the BJP MLA and the police stopped the vehicle. Mendola has been arrested on the charge of violating model Code of Conduct.
Later, Mendola was released on bail and he told that after campaigning ended on Saturday, he had gone to Dahod of Gujarat and on Sunday, he was going to Indore via Ujjain, when he was stopped on the way.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Minister PC Sharma in Bhopal told media persons that the BJP leaders are always in the habit of violating rules and regulations. He condemned the incident and demanded to cancel the membership of Mendola from the State assembly.
BJP’s Lok Sabha member GS Damor reached the Kalyanpur police station and met Mendola. Mendola was being questioned till late evening. His vehicle and mobile phone have been seized. Besides Mendola, his driver has also been booked.
The polling for the Jhabua by-election is scheduled on Monday and the counting would be held on October 24.
The Election Commission, in view of ensuring free and fair election in Jhabua, has deployed four companies of Special Armed Forces (SAF) and 600 policemen from different districts of the State.
Jhabua Collector and District Returning Officer Prabal Sipaha informed that 2,77,599 electorates vote in the election. There are 356 polling booths in the constituency including 61 sensitive booths, he added.