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Campaign ends on a fiery note

CAMPAIGNING CAME to an end on Saturday evening for Vidisha Lok Sabha and Bada Malehra Assembly by-polls amid trading of charges ? violation of model code of conduct between the ruling party and the non-BJP parties.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 15:41 IST

CAMPAIGNING CAME to an end on Saturday evening for Vidisha Lok Sabha and Bada Malehra Assembly by-polls amid trading of charges — violation of model code of conduct between the ruling party and the non-BJP parties.

The Bharatiya Janshakti (BJ) has demanded that the by-poll for Bada Malehra seat be postponed by the Election Commission. Polling is scheduled to be held on October 30 and the counting of votes will take place on November 2.

BJ president Uma Bharti, national general secretary Prahlad Patel and  election agent Narayan Kale met the EC observer and the district returning officer on Saturday night and demanded that the Bada Malehra by-poll be postponed. They alleged that some 10,000 goons had entered Bada Malehra and would attempt to influence the polling at the behest of the ruling party.

At a press conference in the State capital in the evening, BJ national vice-president Chandraraj Singhvi charged the ruling party with employing money power to buy votes in Malehra.

On Saturday, the BJP went full steam with its campaigning in Bada Malehra assembly constituency, causing anxiety in the BJ. BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar camped there for two days to send out the party central BJP leadership’s message about its seriousness regarding the Malehra by-poll. State BJP president Satyanaryan Jatia, organising general secretary Kaptan Singh Solanki, secretary Arvind Bhadoria, Minister for Industries Babulal Gaur and other leaders and workers put up their last efforts to breach the Uma Bharti stronghold. 

The BJP campaign in Vidisha came to an end with party president Rajnath Singh’s election meeting. BJ’s nominee Raghunandan Sharma and his followers staged a dharna against attack on a BJ worker and police’s alleged refusal to lodge an FIR.

The Congress and the BJ have expressed their apprehensions about large-scale booth rigging and violence in the by-polls. 

Manohar Bairagi, in charge of election affairs in Vidisha for the Congress, and Narendra Birthare, in charge of election affairs for the BJ, alleged that the hoodlums, hired for booth rigging, were camping at several places.
BJ president Uma Bharti alleged that goons hired by the BJP had conspired to attack her chopper at Jaitpura in Bada Malehra constituency. 

A heavy security arrangement is in place to ensure by-polls in peaceful manner in both the constituencies. Vehicles entering the two constituencies were being checked at a number of checkpoints.