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EC team begins probe in Chapra

Chapra, May 2
A two-member team of the Election Commission today began an inquiry into the complaints of booth capturing and violence allegedly by ruling RJD activists during the April 26 polling for Chapra Lok Sabha seat where party supremo Laloo Yadav crossed swords with Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The team comprising Mr K.J. Rao and Mr Ananth Kumar arrived here from Patna stopping at several places under Sonepur assembly segment of the constituency and inquiring about the situation during elections.

They walked down to villagers, leaving behind state officials and securitymen accompanying them.

While locals at Gangajal impressed upon the members of the poll panel that election was peaceful, hardly 5 kms away at Bharpura, voters alleged that the district administration was unfair and attempted to rig the elections in favour of the RJD chief.

The commission officials alighted from their vehicle at Sitaganj and Dumri also where a group of RJD supporters sitting on dharna alleged that BJP activists prevented them from voting and captured booths.

The RJD chief met the EC team on its arrival at the Patna airport and sought to depose before it in Chapra later in the day to explain his position.

The Commission had on April 29 ordered a detailed inquiry into the complaints of booth capturing in Chapra constituency following appeals by NDA to countermand the polls in view of largescale violence and rigging allegedly by RJD activists.

Mr Rao and Mr Kumar would also look into other complaints, besides holding discussions with the observers for the seat and the district returning officer.

Before leaving for Chapra, Mr Rao and Mr Kumar told reporters we will go indepth into the complaints holding talks with the concerned parties and also examine the allegations against the ECs observers in Chapra before submitting the report to the Commission in New Delhi.

The Commission would also meet Mr Yadav and Mr Rudy, and other candidates.

Appearing before a two-member Election Commission probe team here, BSP and SP representatives today joined the BJP in demanding countermanding of the elections in this Lok Sabha constituency even as RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav, who contested against Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, denied irregularities and violence on polling day on April 26.

Mr Yadav, Mr Rudy and leaders of the BSP amd SP appeared separately before the EC team comprising Mr K.J. Rao and Mr Ananth Kumar who began probing allegations of widespread electoral fraud and booth-capturing, in an in-camera session. PTI
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