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It was not bribe, just a Holi custom: Mulayam

March 14, 2009 15:37 IST

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today contended that he had not violated the model code of conduct by giving "reward" to people during Holi, saying it was part of the festivities in Uttar Pradesh.

In his reply to the Election Commission, which slapped a notice on him, Yadav is understood to have explained that the money distributed at his native village of Saifai in Etawah should not be treated as bribe as it was part of Holi tradition in the region.

Holi revelry had landed Yadav in trouble with the EC seeking a reply from him as to why he had "violated the moral code of conduct" after party workers were caught on camera allegedly distributing cash during the 'Holi Milan' function.

Earlier in the day, Yadav told reporters in Lucknow that he has submitted the reply to the EC and is confident that the poll panel will be satisfied with it.

He refused to divulge the contents of the reply but said giving reward during Holi festival was a "custom" and part of an age-old tradition. An "unnecessary controversy" was created this time by television channels, he said.

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