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EC acts fast as Priyanka fears rigging in Rae Bareli

EC has decided to depute an additional special observer in her mother's constituency soon after Priyanka met the CEC. Read in Hindi
PTI | By Rajnish Sharma, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 20, 2004 01:52 AM IST

The Election Commission on Monday decided to depute an additional special observer in Rae Bareli. The decision came soon after Priyanka Vadra met chief election commissioner T S Krishnamurthy and election commissioner N Gopalaswami and expressed apprehension of large-scale rigging in her mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency.

The EC also directed all returning officers in Rae Bareli to draw a fresh list of “sensitive and hyper-sensitive” polling stations and video record the entire polling process at such booths.

Commission sources said if required, more senior officers from Delhi would be rushed. The EC has already sent an observer to Rae Bareli.

According to the sources, Priyanka said some criminal elements had sneaked into her mother's constituency and were trying to intimidate Congress workers.

These criminal elements, she told the EC, were planning to indulge in large-scale rigging on April 26, the day polling will be held in Rae Bareli.

Priyanka submitted a memorandum to the EC on behalf of the Congress’s Rae Bareli unit.

The memorandum stated that "henchmen" of Samajwadi Party candidate Akhilesh Singh were intimidating Congress workers.

During her 15-minute meeting with Krishnamurthy and Gopalaswami, Priyanka also gave a list of sensitive polling stations in Rae Bareli.

“She appeared very concerned about the situation in her mother's constituency,” a top EC official said.

Taking cognisance of her report, the EC met immediately and decided to take some additional preventive measures. Besides, Krishnamurthy and Gopalaswami, senior EC officials were present at the meeting.

The panel, the sources said, would review the situation again before the polls and, if required, more police personnel would be deployed.

There was chaos outside Nirvachan Sadan as mediapersons rushed to ask her questions after Priyanka emerged from her meeting with the EC officials.

Probably seeing the rush, Priyanka changed her mind about addressing the waiting   journalists and left the place hurriedly.

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