Full EC to meet on Tuesday for decision on Chapra

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi/chapra
May 03, 2004 10:07 PM IST

EC is likely to meet on Tuesday to discuss the fact-finding panel's report on complaints of rigging.

A meeting of the full Election Commission is likely on Tuesday to consider the demand for countermanding the election in Chapra Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, where RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav is locked in a tussle with Union Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

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Rudy and his party BJP have demanded repoll in the entire constituency alleging largescle rigging and violence allegedly by supporters of Laloo.

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EC sources said that the two-member team comprising Adviser K J Rao and Principal Secretary Ananth Kumar, which is on a two-day fact finding mission to the constituency, would be returning Monday evening after which it is expected to submit its report.

The full Commission is likely to meet Tue to deliberate on the report and take a decision, the sources said.

Earlier, the panel probing allegations of large-scale vitiation and rigging in Chapra Parliamentary constituency on Monday said they had come across serious allegations of violence, booth capturing and collusion of district administration officials and poll personnel with those who had vitiated the April 26 elections.

EC Special Advisor Rao told reporters in Chapra that they had come across the allegations in the last two days when they interacted with candidates, representatives of political parties, poll personnel and common voters.

"We are satisfied with our inquiry as it went on the right lines. But we cannot disclose the content of our report, which we will submit to the EC on Tuesday," Rao and the principal secretary to the commission Ananth Kumar told reporters after holding a series of meetings with Government officials and commoners on the second day of their probe.

To persistent queries whether they would recommend countermanding the elections to the entire constituency or only repolling in booths, they said the EC has always been tough in matters relating to polls.

The EC team spent a considerable time since late Sunday evening till wee hours of Monday going through ballot accounts, presiding officers' reports and other poll-related documents, which they had collected from the strong-room and put them back and got them sealed in their presence.

They also held a 40-minute meeting with senior Government officials including the Saran returning officer B Pradhan, commissioner of Saran division Ajay Naik, DIG (Saran range) Ganesh Prasad Yadav, Chapra SDO Ramji Singh, district development commissioner Nirpat Mandal and deputy police super Harimohan Shukla to inquire about security and other arrangements on the polling day.

A women's delegation led by RJD leader and chairperson of Zila Parishad Nilu Kumari and ward members Gayatri Devi and Anita Devi met the EC team and complained about manhandling by BJP supporters and pleaded not to countermand the election.

A group of BJP supporters from Isupur village under Sonepur assembly segment of Chapra Parliamentary constituency led by Satish Kumar Singh, whose hand was in a plaster cast following alleged attack on him by RJD activists, also called on the team.

They complained about grabbing of booth number 153 and chasing away of genuine voters by the state's ruling party.

The EC team later left for Parsa, near Chapra, from where it had received complaints about violence and booth capturing.

The team is scheduled to go to Patna and return to Delhi in the afternoon.

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