Monday, February 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Repoll recommended in Bihar

PATNA, Feb 13 (UNI) — The state election office has recommended repolling in 12 polling stations under 45 Assembly segments, which went to poll in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly elections yesterday.

According to the state election office sources here today, reports from the remaining 63 segments were being checked and would be sent to the Election Commission for approval.

The sources said recommendations from the election observers and returning officers were also sought to be sent to the commission for necessary action.

Meanwhile, a report said repolling in six polling stations of Ranchi district was recommended on charges of large-scale rigging during elections yesterday.

Official sources here sought permission for repolling in booth numbers 52,53 and 76 in Hatia Assembly constituency, booth numbers 68 and 99 in Torpa and booth number 61 in Mandar Assembly constituency.

The sources here said reports regarding snatching and stamping of ballot papers by a particular party was received from three polling stations in Hatia, while in one polling station of Torpa, miscreants burnt the ballot papers.

Meanwhile, the Bihar unit of the BJP demanded repolling in more than 300 polling stations.

State party president Nand Kishore Yadav urged the ruling party to accept the mandate of the people, which, he claimed, would go in favour of the NDA.

He said the party had demanded repolling in 90 booths of the sensitive Danapur Assembly segment, where RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav was himself in the fray.

In a fax to Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill, the BJP had also demanded the immediate suspension of a Deputy Superintendent Police and two officers-in-charge of police stations in Danapur constituency for their alleged involvement in patronising the ruling party goons in rigging, he stated.

Demanding immediate arrest of Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, BJP candidate from Patna West segment Navin Kishore Prasad Sinha said Mr Yadav himself led the booth capturers in his constituency.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Nirupam charged BJP heavyweight Sushil Kumar Modi with masterminding large-scale rigging in Patna central Assembly segment, which went to poll on Saturday.

Mr Nirupam, a Rajya Sabha member, and Shiv Sena candidate from Patna Central, Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told newspersons that the party had written a letter to state Chief Electoral Officer A.K. Basu demanding repolling in 49 booths.

They alleged that Mr Modi, also the leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, utilised services of musclemen to influence the voters. They accused the BJP leader of even making calls to the people by his official telephone.

Drawing parallel between Mr Modi and RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav, they said the former was in the process of becoming another “Laloo’’, who had been allegedly rejected by the people for his “highhandedness’’.

Mr Nirupam would apprise Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray of the BJP candidate’s “anti-democratic’’ behaviour.

They even charged the BJP with preventing the party from spreading its wings beyond Maharashtra and said the party would, however, continue with the coalition.

Continuing the party’s support to the NDA in the formation of the next government in the state, they said they would sit on an indefinite dharna either in front of the Chief Electoral Officer’s office or district returning officer’s office, if their demands of repolling were not met by Sunday.

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