Congress nominee against Modi in Vadodara being 'harassed': Maken

New Delhi: Narendra Modi was in the line of fire by Congress, which complained to the Election Commission on Thursday of "harassment and humiliation" of its nominee Madhusudan Mistri, who is contesting against the BJP's prime ministerial candidate from Vadodara in Gujarat.

After meeting the EC, AICC General Secretary and communication chief Ajay Maken accused Modi of misusing state machinery to manipulate the polls.

"The fact is that entire state machinery including police, bureaucracy and subordinate staff are by and large controlled and dictated by Modi. Some of the officials belong to RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and are capable of manipulating the entire election in Vadodara and elsewhere in Gujarat," it said in its complaint to the EC.

"In order to harass and humiliate Mistri...A false and baseless FIR has been registered at the behest of Modi and the BJP...This Parliamentary constituency is not only sensitive but requires extraordinary attention and supervision since Modi is a candidate," it said.

Maken said two FIRs have been lodged against Mistri, who is fighting Modi--the first on the charge of creating chaos and the second on a strange pretext.

He said a pamphlet released by the Vadodara City Congress Committee was made the basis of this FIR.

"We all know that the issue of snoopgate is being discussed in Gujarat for last few months. Women organisations raised their voice against it before the President of India and at other fora.

"The way 90,000 phones were tapped in three months is being highlighted by various political and women organisations ...To use that pamphlet to register an FIR against Mistri is condemnable," he said alleging that the entire Gujarat administrative machinery is playing into the hands of Modi.

"Congress candidates are being intimidated not only in Vadodara but other places in Gujarat as well so that the election can be rigged in that state," he said.

The party said in the petition that while the polling management of Presiding Officers and distribution of voter slip for conduct of fair poll remain on papers, the ground reality is that it is "totally manipulated" by Modi and BJP.

The AICC made a similar complaint to the EC against Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, the Nagaland People's Front leader.

"Similarly in Nagaland, the Chief Minister is a candidate in the Lok Sabha polls. It was surprising that 48 polling booths had polled more than 100 per cent while 986 registered more than 90 per cent votes.

"Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Nagaland are misusing their government machineries against the Congress candidates and are trying to manipulate the entire election process in their favour," Maken said.

PTI
First Published: Friday, April 25, 2014, 00:49
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