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Presidential poll gets murkier by the day

In a tit-for-tat move, the NDA accuses the Congress of using 'undue influence' on voters and seeks EC action.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2007 15:57 IST

An NDA delegation is scheduled to meet the Election Commission on Friday with a complaint against the Congress that it was using "undue influence" on voters in the presidential election.

The complaint comes in the wake of the Congress petition to the Rajya Sabha secretariat for disqualification of former union minister Natwar Singh, a proposer to vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's candidacy for presidency, as its member.

The NDA has rejected the Congress' claims that its petition had nothing to do with his being a proposer to Shekhawat's candidacy.

NDA spokesperson Sushma Swaraj, who is leading the delegation to the Election Commission, has said the Congress' contention that it was its second petition for Singh's disqualification as Rajya Sabha member because of his role in the SP's campaign in Uttar Pradesh was "false".

She alleges that the move showed the ruling party was using pressure tactics to secure support for UPA-Left candidate Pratibha Patil.

NDA sources, however, say the opposition alliance has yet to receive any concrete offer of support from parties outside the grouping.

"Our media strategists are on the job. The BJP has launched a vigorous campaign against Patil, but the fact is that this is not a direct election in which people participate. Whether this media campaign will be able to win support from parties that do not want to associate themselves in any way with us is yet unclear," a senior BJP leader said.