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EC sends notice to Atishi over her "join BJP or face arrest" charge

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Friday sent a notice to AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi over her claim that the BJP approached her for membership through one of her 'close' aides.

The poll panel asked the AAP leader to respond to its notice by noon on April 8.

"Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and Candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided," the notice by the EC read.

"The political parties and leaders shall not make false statements, utterances without factual basis aimed at misleading the voters. Criticism of other parties or their workers on the basis of unverified allegations or on distortions shall be avoided," it added.

Denying that she was approached with an offer to join the party, the BJP earlier demanded that Atishi furnish evidence to support her claim.

The poll panel added in its notice that it received a complaint on April 4 from the BJP that Atishi made "misleading and unverified statements" during her press conference on April 2.

The AAP leader claimed that she was asked to join the BJP or face arrest.

"The BJP, through one of my close aides, approached me to join their party to save my political career. I was told that if I do not join the BJP, I will be arrested by the ED," Atishi claimed.

However, the BJP dismissed her allegations as 'baseless'.

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, who is seeking a fresh term in the Lok Sabha from North East Delhi, spoke on the EC notice, saying, "She came up with baseless allegations. We warned her of action but she did not apologise. We took up this matter with the Election Commission. it has now issued a notice."

"AAP leaders, especially Atishi, are in the habit of maligning the BJP," he added.

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