The NDA on Friday filed a complaint with the Election Commission that the Congress is using "undue influence" on voters in the presidential election and sought "appropriate action" against the party and UPA nominee Pratibha Patil.
The Opposition alliance cited the Congress' move to get Natwar Singh disqualified as Rajya Sabha member a day after he proposed the nomination of NDA-backed independent candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
Ironically, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and VK Malhotra and JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh had to meet Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, against whom the NDA had filed a petition for his removal for alleged links with the Congress.
Swaraj said she was hopeful that the EC would look into the NDA's plea, which cited Section 18 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 that bars "undue influence" on voters.
"Natwar Singh is a member of the electoral college that elects the President. A petition filed by Congress chief whip V Narayanswamy to disqualify him amounts to exercising undue influence in the election," she said.
Swaraj alleged that a "confused" Congress was using pressure tactics to secure support for Patil and "her consent is implied because she is still a member of the Congress."
"Parliamentary affairs minister PR Dasmunsi, who is Patil's authorised representative, too has been fully active in preparing the petition against Natwar Singh," Swaraj said.
She also asked why the Congress did not act against Singh when he had campaigned for the Samajwadi Party in the UP polls. "It is clear that the Congress acted against him after it came to know that he was among the proposers for Shekhawat."