It was almost like a scene from the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay. Much like Veeru (one of the main characters in the film), Jhansi City Congress Committee president Kamal Jain threatened to jump off the roof of the party office in protest against fake voting in the ongoing organisational elections. His supporters, however, stopped him from going through with the suicidal act.
Jain claimed he was allegedly beaten up by the rival group when he objected to fake voting.
Talking to HT, he said he was recuperating at the local Civil Hospital and the election to the city unit president's post had now been deferred.
Jain's act has brought into focus the large-scale irregularities in the party's exercise to hold elections to the posts of presidents of the District Congress Committees (DCCs) and the City Congress Committees.
The exercise has been plagued with allegations of returning officers not taking their job seriously. Instead of reaching booths and blocks, the poll officers allegedly indulged in favouritism and finalised the lists of block office bearers and the UPCC delegates with the support of one or the other group in most of the districts.
As a result, the party was forced to revise the list of UPCC delegates. The names of 80 to 100 newcomers (who have not completed three years in the party) are being dropped. A revised list accommodating genuine workers is likely to be released soon.
Polling for the DCC and city president's post (where block office bearers and UPCC delegates are voters) has been completed in 10 to 15 districts. The party is citing different reasons to defer the poll in other districts.
Take the case of Hardoi. There, the district returning officer did not reach to hold the election on Wednesday. Violence was witnessed in Gorakhpur at the time of filing of nominations itself. In Lakhimpur Kheri, the poll is likely to take place on August 29. The poll was deferred in about 30 districts of West UP due to the farmers’ agitation on Wednesday.
The party had decided to defer the election in about 14 districts earlier.