RAMPUR, Uttar Pradesh: Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was taken into judicial custody in Rampur on Wednesday for alleged poll code violation.
Naqvi's arrest took place after a local court in Rampur sentenced him to one year in jail for violating the Model Code of Conduct during the 2009 general elections.
The BJP leader has been taken into custody along with 19 of his co-workers.
An FIR had been registered against Naqvi and his supporters during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in Rampur.
Naqvi had allegedly breached the prohibitory orders in force and barged into a police station along with his party workers at Patwai area of Rampur parliamentary constituency while campaigning for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
However, within hours of being taken into custody, Naqvi on Wednesday confirmed that he has been granted bail, and added that he would proceed according to the law.
"In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, a former District Collector from our party had been arrested. Some party workers had gone to meet him in jail and an FIR under IPC Section 144 (unlawful assembly) had been filed against the workers at that police station. Around 200 people were involved in the incident and the names of 20 people, including mine, were given in the FIR," Naqvi told the media.
"I have been granted bail and will proceed according to the law now," he added.
IPC Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) authorizes a magistrate to prohibit the assembly of more than ten people in a public space.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Gaurav Bhatia termed Naqvi's arrest as serious and accused the BJP's UP leaders of violating the Model Code of Conduct.
"This actually shows how the BJP contests election, when their own minister has now been held guilty of being a member of unlawful assembly. It also raises serious question regarding the conduct of a minister. If a competent court has found him to be guilty of committing an offence, I think it is a serious matter," he said.
"Leaders of the BJP, not just Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi but also Yogi Adityanath have violated the Model Code of Conduct during the UP by-polls. Therefore, this needs to be taken seriously and better conduct and behaviour is expected out of ministers," he added.