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UP Governor seeks report on poll irregularities

Governor TV Rajeswar asks the State Election Commission to conduct an inquiry into the allegation, reports Umesh Raghuvanshi.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2006 21:44 IST

Taking strong exception to reports of unhindered movement of Samajwadi Party leaders in Shahjahanpur the Governor TV Rajeswar on Saturday asked the State Election Commission to conduct an inquiry and take action.

The Raj Bhawan has forwarded a complaint of Shahjahanpur Congress MP Jitin Prasad to State Election Commissioner Aparamita Prasad Singh while asking for a report on the issue on Saturday.

Taking a note of Raj Bhawan's letter the SEC has asked the senior IAS officer and poll observer SR Meena to submit a report on Prasad's complaint soon.

Accusing the Samajwadi Party leaders of indulging in booth capturing and fake voting at various places Prasad had demanded an inquiry and re-polling at nearly 50 polling booths in 21 wards that include of Shahjahanpur.

The Samajwadi Party leaders accompanied by their gunners and shadows continued to visit different polling booths all over the day despite information given to district administration, said Prasad while speaking to Hindustan Times on telephone from Shahjahanpur on Saturday.

Senior district officials including the district magistrate and the district police chief patronised the free moment of the SP leaders along with their gunners for booth capturing despite repeated protests from the Congress, he said.

The district magistrate Amit Kumar Ghosh said he had sought a report on the issue from CDO and the additional district magistrate.

Replying to a question the State Election Commissioner Aparamita Prasad Singh said he had asked the poll observer to look into the complaint of the MP and submit a report to the SEC soon. Appropriate action would be taken once the report of the poll observer was received, said Singh.

Significantly this is not for the first time that Raj Bhawan has intervened to ensure a free and fair election to the urban local bodies.

In another letter to the SEC the Raj Bhawan has asked the commission to conduct a probe into reports of irregularities in the printing of ballot papers for the urban local bodies elections.

There were reports that a large number of ballot papers bearing the same serial number have been used for the poll. A senior officer of the SEC said an inquiry has been already ordered into the issue.

The SEC has already received a report from one of the places where the ballot papers were printed, he said adding that a report would be sent to Raj Bhawan once the inquiry was completed.

The Raj Bhawan had asked the SEC to enforce the model of conduct. Taking note of Raj Bhawan's observations the SEC had suspended the Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's programmes for distribution of Unemployment Allowance and the Kanya Vidya Dhan.

First Published: Oct 28, 2006 21:44 IST