iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Press Trust of India, PTI
New Delhi, December 13, 2002
The BJP on Friday took exception to foreign observers and diplomats being given special passes for observing Assembly polls in Gujarat, saying there was no need for such an exercise. "Foreign observers and diplomats being given special passes for visiting Gujarat to see the polls there and visit polling booths is not a correct thing," party spokesman VK Malhotra told reporters here.

"Only candidates and his polling agents can enter polling booths. Even ministers are not allowed. In Jammu and Kashmir, it was a different situation," he said.

He said in an election where the media and other institutions are keeping a strict watch on any irregularities, there is no need for such special passes to be issued to foreign observers and diplomats.

Malhotra strongly objected to what he described as a "new trend of getting members of minority community to vote in favour one political party."

He said in a democracy even family members vote for different political parties but in the case of Gujarat, it was ensured that the entire community voted for one particular political party.