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Police charge Rudy with poll rigging

Union Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy has been charged with booth grabbing, indulging in scuffle and intimidating voters during the April 26 poll in Chapra.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Patna
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2004 03:24 PM IST

Two cases have been registered by police against Union Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy and his bodyguards charging them with booth grabbing, indulging in scuffle, theft of money and intimidating the voters during the April 26 poll at Amnaur under Chapra Lok Sabha constituency.

Rubbishing the charge, Rudy said the cases are politically motivated as they were lodged four days after polling.

Officer-in-Charge of Amnaur police station Ravi Ranjan Pandey said that the cases (28/2004 and 29/2004) were instituted on the complaints of Presiding Officer, Ragho Prasad of Taraiya's booth no 168 and an RJD activist Rajiv Singh.

Pandey said Rudy has been named accused in the case (29/2004 dated April 27, 2004) filed by Rajiv Singh in which he accused the Union minister of using abusive languages, intimidating the voters and being witness to theft of Rs 3000 by his bodyguard from Singh's pocket at the time of polling at an Amnaur booth but he (Rudy) wilfully ignored it and sped away.

Similarly, in the case no. 28/2004 of 26/04/2004 Rudy's involvement too has been made out for conspiring with his bodyguards, including one Ojha, who had allegedly indulged in booth capturing, firing and intimidating the voters, he said.

Interestingly, the Police Superintendent (Saran) Ganesh Kumar was not aware of the cases against Rudy. "I am nintyfive per cent sure that no case has been registered against the Union minister till yesterday", Kumar said

Rudy has accused ruling RJD activists of unleashing large-scale booth grabbing and violence during the April 26 poll in Chapra and called for countermanding the elections to the seat. RJD boss Laloo Prasad Yadav is pitted against Rudy in the constituency.

When contacted, BJP state president Gopal Narayan Singh alleged that the cases were lodged at the behest of Laloo Yadav after Rudy complained to the Election Commission for countermanding the elections to the seat and holding of a fresh poll.

Accusing Rudy of trying to cover up wide-spread booth rigging by BJP workers during the poll, RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav said the "law would take its own course".

"The cases against Rudy and his bodyguards have exposed the sinister design of the BJP to get the elections to the seat countermanded," the former Chief Minister of Bihar said.

"It is not us but the BJP supporters who have lodged complaints against Rudy and his bodyguards for indulging in booth capturing, skirmishes and intimidation," Yadav said.

He accused the Centre of conspiring to get the elections to the Chapra seat countermanded.

Yadav described as "false and baseless" the allegation that RJD activists let loose reign of terror and indulged in booth grabbing during the polls.

Rudy has rubbished the cases as politically motivated as they were lodged four days after polling.

"The cases of booth-capturing, scuffle and intimidation against me were lodged after I complained to the Election Commission. I complained to the poll panel that cases were being registered not only against me but also against several of my workers," he said here.

"Polling (in Chapra) took place on April 26 and the cases were registered on April 29. No case was registered on April 27. It is obvious that this has been done deliberately and it is politically motivated," he added.

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