The Election Commission Saturday reduced the 48-hour campaign ban imposed on Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 hours after he tendered an “unconditional apology” and assured the poll panel that he will abide by the provisions of the model code.

The BJP leader now can start campaigning from the evening. He was on Friday initially barred from campaigning related activities till 4 April for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary.

Canvassing for the third and final phase of Assam assembly elections comes to an end on the evening of 4 April. The final phase of polling will be held on 6 April. In his representation to the Election Commission on Saturday, Sarma had pleaded to reduce the ban to 24 hours on the ground that he is himself a candidate in the constituency which is scheduled to go for polls on Tuesday.

The EC order said in his representation, Sarma requested the poll panel to “accept my sincere regret and assurance of abiding MCC in future, and, be further pleased to reduce the period of debarment from election campaign from 48 hours to 24 hours”. The EC has also transferred his brother and Goalpara SP Sushanta Biswa Sarma from the district.

~With inputs from PTI~