The other side of the poll tale
With curtains being drawn on the UP polls there are reports that some were denied the right to cast their votes, writes Rajiv Srivastava.Updated: May 08, 2007 20:22 IST
Though Bindumati got a chance to vote this time, "Several voters of Tanda village were being stopped by the supporters of Loktantrik Congress Party candidate Pt Harishanker Tiwari," complained Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Rajesh Tripathi to Superintendent of Police (SP) Binod Kumar Singh -- specially deployed by the Election Commission at the constituency.
Bindumati first: "I was denied my voting right for some reason or the other during the last two Vidhan Sabha elections. However, this was for the first time that I actually got a chance to exercise my franchise," said the 53-year-old Bindumati of Chillupaar Assembly segment.
Chillupaar, the constituency of the district continues to be in news. Reason: 'Strongman', Cabinet Minister in UP government and consecutive six-time MLA from Gorakhpur Pt Harishanker Tiwari's prestige is at stake.
Giving him sleepless nights (probably for the first time since 1985, as Tiwari has never lost a election since then) is Rajesh Tripathi, a BSP candidate and a man, who is credited with setting up a gigantic Mukti Path at Badhalganj.
Now Rajesh's complaint: Swinging into action, the special SP taking inspector Badhalganj RK Singh and adequate police force rushed to the spot told by the BSP candidate. The inspector after a few minutes came back and informed the SP that a doubtful person standing in the way of voters and their rights had been shunted away and people were going without any fear to vote.
Satisfied, the SP and the force returns to take stock of other polling booths.
Earlier, following complaints that the presiding officers were denying voting rights to several people on the pretext that their names had been crossed with a red pen before it reached them also enraged the BSP candidate. However, presiding officers expressed their helplessness and told the people that they could only be allowed after the permission from the observer or the Election Commission.
One of a minor's rape by a CRPF jawan at Gangawal village of Dhuriyapar assembly segment, and other, an attempt by another CRPF jawan at Mujuri village in Paniara assembly segment -- did bring disrepute to the CPMF, which otherwise, till Phase VI, became heroes for holding free and fair election in UP. CRPF jawans at several places were seen enquiring from mediapersons about the developments in the two cases and showed their dejection on being elaborated about their offence and the subsequent action.
Aanganwadi workers were deployed at the polling booths to properly scruitinise the identity of Burqa-clad women. They were given the task to properly verify the identity of these women. Though several burqa-clad women after casting their votes outside the polling booths said, "we already had removed our burqa no sooner than we reached at the polling booth for the convenience of verifying the identity."