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EC quiet on Rudy plea for Chapra repoll

The Election Commission is yet to take a view on the BJP demand for countermanding polls in Chapra, from where Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy is pitted against Laloo Prasad Yadav.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 28, 2004 11:46 PM IST

The Election Commission has ordered repolling in 498 booths in Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa where polling took place on April 26. But it is yet to take a view on the BJP demand for countermanding polls in Chapra, from where Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy is pitted against Laloo Prasad Yadav.

The EC is also yet to decide on repolling in Siwan.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rudy approached the EC seeking countermanding of elections in Chapra. He reportedly cited violence by supporters of Laloo Yadav.

Rudy had told HT on the day of polling that the official machinery had been misused. "Presiding officers in hundreds of booths were threatened with dire consequences if they made any mention of the booth-capturing," he said. "Poor villagers have been threatened with weapons if they dared to step out of their homes. My men have been murdered."

According to the minister, though the EC had identified 800 polling stations as sensitive, proper security was provided in only about 200.

Meanwhile, the EC ordered repolling in 417 booths in Bihar, 59 in Jharkhand and 22 in Orissa. These include constituencies like Bettiah, Gopalganj, Maharajganj, Muzaffarpur and Madhubani in Bihar; Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum in Jharkhand and Jadavpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur in Orissa.

Regarding Chapra and Siwan, EC sources said the commission was scrutinising the reports submitted by its special observers and the decision on these two seats could take "a day or two".

On Wednesday, Rudy showed newspersons video-clippings of the mayhem at several booths in his constituency on April 26. He said he had submitted evidence of the violence in the form of CDs, video recordings and local newspaper reports.

The Congress, meanwhile, petitioned the EC against what it termed the misuse of official position by the Prime Minister in telling Muslims that the BJP was "taking care" of their interests.

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