BJP to deploy 'Vigilance Squads' for 3rd, 4th phase of LS polls

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi
May 04, 2004 10:02 PM IST

BJP has announced plans to deploy Vigilance Squads at 700 sensitive booths in Bihar and UP to prevent violence.

Pulling out all stops ahead of the crucial last two phases of Lok Sabha polls, BJP on Tuesday announced plans to deploy 'Vigilante Squads' at 700 "sensitive" booths in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to "prevent violence and ensure maximum polling."

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"The party has identified sensitive booths in these states and would be deploying these 'Nigrani Dals' comprising local cadres of party's youth and women's wings, to ensure that maximum number of voters turn up without the fear of violence, threats, booth capturing and coercion," BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

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He, however, categorically stated that the squads, equipped with video cameras, would be "unarmed and would assist the law and order machinery and will not take the law into their hands."

The party had constituted similar squads in the 1998 polls also under the policy of "one booth, ten youth", he said adding a decision in this regard was taken at an organisational meeting, attended among others by senior leaders Sanjay Joshi, Pyarelal Khandelwal and Bal Apte after taking stock of the ground situation.

Naqvi also denied that the formation of the squads reflected the party's lack of faith in the Election Commission.

However, there would be no such squads in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's constituency, as the people there were "angry" with the antics of the opposition parties and would come out in large numbers "voluntarily", he said.

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